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Pensions Ombudsman

Volume 405: debated on Wednesday 21 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what the average time for dealing with a complaint to the Pensions Ombudsman was in (a) 1997–98, (b) 1998–99, (c) 1999–2000, (d) 2000–01 and (e) in the current year; [114030](2) how many complaints the Parliamentary Ombudsman received in

(a) 1997–98, (b) 1998–99, (c) 2000–01, (d) 2001–02 and (e) this year; [114031]

(3) how many (a) investigators and (b) solicitors the Pensions Ombudsman has to investigate complaints. [114032]

The Pensions Ombudsman currently employs 15 investigators of whom five are legally qualified. In addition to this a small number of lawyers are used on a "fee per case" basis.The information requested on average clearance times and number of complaints are in the following tables. The information on the year 2002–03 is not available. The Pension Ombudsman's annual 2002–03 report, which will be published later this year, will contain data that assesses performance using different criteria and consequently will not be directly comparable.

Average time for dealing with a complaint
Months
From acceptance to completionOnce formal investigation begins
1997–9812.77.3
1998–9911.07.3
1999–20008.86.8
2000–015.74.7
2001–028.56.9
Complaints received
InquiriesAccepted cases
1997–982,328729
1998–993,067719
1999–20003,269627
2000–013,215911
2001–022,946831

Source:

Pensions Ombudsman annual reports 1997–2002