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Pensions Ombudsman

Volume 455: debated on Thursday 18 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average length of time taken by the Office of the Pensions Ombudsman to carry out an investigation from receipt of the request to conclusion was in the last period for which figures are available; and what steps are being taken to reduce this period. (116517)

The information is not available in the form requested. At 31 December 2006 the age distribution of cases on hand was as follows:

Age distribution of Pensions Ombudsman cases on hand at 31 December 2006

Age

Number of cases

Percentage of total

Less than 1 year old

476

38

Between 1 and 2 years old

298

24

Between 2 and 3 years old

143

12

Between 3 and 4 years old

48

4

Between 4 and 5 years old

252

20

Over 5 years old

28

2

Total

1,245

100

A number of measures have been taken to reduce the time taken to close cases. These include the recruitment of a Deputy Pensions Ombudsman, a fundamental revision of business processes, modernisation of the office’s accommodation and IT infrastructure, and recruitment of additional investigative staff.

These measures will assist the Pensions Ombudsman in achieving his target of reducing the proportion of cases on hand more than 12 months old to no more than 5 per cent. by 31 March 2008.