Source: UK Government
MOD’s Veterans UK organisation, part of Defence Business Services, have taken steps to simplify the Armed Forces Pension Schemes complaints process, known as the Internal Dispute Resolution Procedures.
Veterans UK have listened to and taken on board the advice from The Pensions Ombudsman that the complaints process should be accessible, simple and streamlined with the aim of achieving the right outcome at the earliest opportunity. Sharing that view Veterans UK have shortened the overall process so that they can provide a decision in a quicker timeframe. This change will come into effect from 01 April 2018.
The Pension Regulator expects that a decision will be made on a dispute within four months of receiving an application. The streamlined single stage IDRP process will reduce this further, with Veterans UK operating a 60 working days timeline after investigations concluded that this could reduce the time taken to process a complaint by 25%.
Any member of the AFPS has the right to raise a complaint using the IDRP process if they disagree with a decision or action taken by the scheme administrator. The single stage process will look at all aspects of the complaint along with any additional evidence or information provided. For detailed guidance and Frequently Asked Questions on the process an Internal Dispute Resolution Procedures factsheet (PDF, 138KB, 4 pages) is available.
Elizabeth Phelan, Assistant Head of Veterans Pensions at Veterans UK, said:
At Veterans UK we strive to deliver the best service we can to all our customers so please remember that we will make every effort to resolve any disputes before turning to the IDRP process. However, we are confident that by moving to a more accessible and streamlined complaints process our commitment to excellent levels of customer service can be maintained and strengthened. Veterans UK are constantly looking at ways to improve the Customer Experience.