TPO upholds overpayment complaint against Devon & Cornwall Police

The Pensions Ombudsman (TPO) has upheld a pension overpayment complaint against Devon and Cornwall Police after it failed to implement a pension sharing order (PSO).

Devon and Cornwall Police has been ordered to pay the complainant, Mr Y, £2,000 for the serious non-financial injustice and to recalculate an appropriate repayment plan for the £36,298 overpaid to Mr Y.

Mr Y retired in 2011 and began receiving his pension from the Police Pension Scheme.

In 2013, his divorce was finalised and a PSO, which entitled his wife to a 41.28 per cent share of his pension benefits, was issued in favour of his ex-wife.

Mr Y paid his half of the administration fee (£480) to the then scheme administrators, Capita, but his ex-wife failed to do so.

This resulted in Mr Y continuing to receive the full pension entitlement while Capita waited for his ex-wife to pay the fee, informing Mr Y that the PSO would be implemented when she did so.

When expressing concerns over potential overpayments, Mr Y said that Capita assured him that he would not be asked for backdated payments, but TPO found no evidence of this.

He began receiving a reduced pension in December 2017, in line with the PSO, after Capita realised its mistake.

Mr Y felt that the overpayment should repaid by Capita due to its mishandling of his pension.

TPO ruled that Devon and Cornwall Police was responsible for the scheme and, therefore, the implementation of Mr Y’s PSO.

However, it decided that the responsibility of the repayment of the overpayment lay with Mr Y.

Within 28 days, Devon and Police must arrange for current scheme administrators, XPS Pensions, to recalculate the amount of the overpayment and agree an “appropriate” repayment plan.

It has also been ordered to pay Mr Y £2,000 for the “severe distress and inconvenience" caused.

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