It has come to our notice that throughout England and Wales as Forces outsource their Pension Administrators to external or other providers, a large number of anomalies are arising; which have resulted in them identifying that a number of Pensions have been paid incorrectly, for a variety of reasons.
This has led to the Pensioners having been underpaid or overpaid for a number of years. In the event that you have been underpaid, the monies owed should be paid to you as soon as possible; if the Administrator is indicating that you have been overpaid it is important that you DO NOT agree to repay any monies; at least until you have established the exact reason for the overpayment.
Most of these overpayments will have been made as a result of ‘mistakes’ or ‘errors’ by the Pension Administrator.
However, the person receiving the overpayments must have acted in good faith and the does not cover where a person knew the payments were not allowed and ought to have made further enquiries as to the overpayments.
•a reasonable person in the place of the recipient would have realised a mistake was being made (e.g. where the discrepancy is a large and noticeable one), or
•the recipient was ‘heedless’ as to whether or not a mistake was being made
The Ombudsman is also less likely to hold that a member has acted in good faith if the member fails to make enquiries about errors in a benefit statement or member communication.
Use these links for our recommendations on what course of action to take next: