CENTURY LIFE PLC V PENSIONS OMBUDSMAN BRITANNIA LIFE LTD V PENSIONS OMBUDSMAN

Publication Date01 April 1995
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/eb024862
Pages405-408
AuthorJ DYSON
SubjectAccounting & finance
CENTURY
LIFE PLC V PENSIONS OMBUDSMAN
BRITANNIA
LIFE LTD V PENSIONS OMBUDSMAN
(HIGH
COURT
OF
JUSTICE:
QUEENS
BENCH
DIVISION)
DYSON
J
Date of Judgment: 12th May, 1995
Reported at:
Times
Law
Reports
May 1995
THE FACTS
The appellant companies were suc-
cessors to insurance companies which
had arranged insurance policies secur-
ing the retirement benefits of certain
occupational pension schemes. Mem-
bers of these pension schemes had
complained to the Pensions Ombuds-
man (the Ombudsman) about the
conduct of the insurance companies,
the Ombudsman having the jurisdic-
tion to investigate complaints set out
in s. 146(1) of the Pension Schemes
Act 1993:
'The Pensions Ombudsman may
investigate and determine any
complaint made to him in writing
by or on behalf of an authorised
complainant who alleges that he
has sustained injustice in conse-
quence of maladministration in
connection with any act or omis-
sion of the trustees or managers of
an occupational pension scheme or
personal pension scheme.'
The Ombudsman had found that the
insurers had indeed been guilty of
maladministration and that the com-
plainant scheme members had
suf-
fered injustice in consequence.
THE ACTION
These two conjoined appeals were
brought under s. 151(4) of the Pen-
sion Schemes Act 1993 against the
determinations of the Ombudsman.
Firstly, the appellant companies
argued that the Ombudsman had no
jurisdiction under s. 146(1) to make
the determination he made, since the
phrase 'trustees or managers' ought
properly to be construed as meaning
'trustees, or if there are no trustees,
the managers'. If this argument were
to succeed then the appeals must be
allowed. Secondly, if this first argu-
ment were to fail then the Appellants'
alternative argument was that there
was not sufficient evidence on which
the Ombudsman could properly find
that the insurance companies were
managers. In response to this the
405

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