Case law round-up — trustee time-barred with recovery of overpayments; and more

The Deputy Pensions Ombudsman (DPO) has held that in recovering overpayments made incorrectly to a pension member, going back to the late ‘90s (but only discovered in 2011), the trustees were time-barred under statute from seeking recovery of such overpayments.

The DPO held that, in accordance with section 32(1) of the Limitation Act 1980, the trustees should have been able to identify the incorrect overpayments in 1998–99. Consequently, the six-year limitation period back to the late ‘90s had been exceeded, and trustees were time-barred from making a claim.

Important to also note is that the DPO only partly upheld the complaint by the member who agreed he had altered his financial position in respect of the incorrect overpayments. The DPO held that the member had only changed his financial position based on the lump-sum element of the overpayment but not in relation to the incorrect monthly overpayments. The trustees were, therefore, able to recover such overpayments that had been paid in the six years prior to them notifying the member of the error in 2011…

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