Death benefits 1

United Kingdom

Reference: H00468

The complainant alleged maladministration by a trustee and administrator of a personal pension plan. The complainant had been the member's partner for a number of years and the member had signed a nomination form in her favour. She claimed that the trustee had acted perversely and contrary to the member's wishes in paying half the proceeds from the pension plan to the member's wife (from whom he had been separated for 9 years).

The Ombudsman held that both the complainant and the member's wife qualified for consideration as potential beneficiaries and he therefore had to consider if the trustee had acted improperly or perversely in coming to the decision it did. He referred to Edge v Pensions Ombudsman and found that the decision was perverse as the trustee received and considered prejudicial allegations about the complainant without testing their truth or giving her an opportunity to respond.