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Decision of an employer

First Instance Decisions

First instance decisions are decisions taken by an employer on matters relating to a member's pension rights. It is the employer's responsibility to ensure that a first instance decision has been issued.

Examples of first instance decisions may be:

  • Entitlement to join the Scheme
  • Benefit entitlement on leaving the Scheme
  • Deciding not to allow early payment of benefits to a member who is now 55, but left before 1 April 2014 (employer discretion).

Stage One

Where a member believes that the decision made in the first instance is unfair or they don't agree with it, they may invoke stage one of the internal dispute resolution.

The regulations require that a decision is made and notified to the member within two months of receipt of the application.

On receiving the form/letter:

   the employer must notify the Fund's compliance team within 2 days
Where a decision has been reached:

   the employer must notify the member within 15 days
  
and
   the Fund's compliance team within 5 days

Should the employer believe that the timeframe notified to the member and the Fund is not going to be met, they must notify the member and the Fund's compliance team providing confirmation as to when the complaint will be resolved together with the reason for the delay.

Stage Two

Where a member believes that the decision reached by their employer in stage one is unfair or they don't agree with it, they may invoke stage two of the internal dispute resolution.

The case will be allocated to an investigating officer to review.

If there is a different outcome between the stage one decision and the stage two, in accordance with the regulations, the decision made by the Administering Authority takes effect except in the case of an employer's exercise of a discretion.

The Fund cannot review the discretionary policy of an employer, only whether the decision has been made in line with the policy.

Where a decision has been reached, the Administering Authority must notify the member within the required timeframe (no later than 15 days of the date the decision was made).  

 

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