Change of style

Lively times are predicted for the pensions scene. The new pensions ombudsman Julian Farrand QC made this quite clear when talking to the Association of Pensions Lawyers last week.

In a matter of months, he has given 50 determinations, compared with his predecessor's 160 over a period of years. And the style will be different. Four appeals have been lodged so far against his decisions (not all will proceed), compared with two in the previous ombudsman's time.

But he gives every indication of going in as hard on pension maladministration as he did on insurance when he was the industry's ombudsman. He can direct payments of unlimited amounts under a wide range of headings, including "injured feelings". Should another Maxwell pensions debacle occur, the extent of these damaged feelings could be considerable indeed.