Ombudsman upholds pensions tax complaint against police

Police

The Pensions Ombudsman has upheld a police officer, Mr Cherry’s complaint that his employer had a duty of care to inform him of the tax implications of re-employment on his retirement benefits.

He was employed as a police officer with the Police and Crime Commissioner of South Wales from February 1982, took his retirement benefits from 12 June 2011, and was re-employed by the Commissioner on 23 June 2011, within one month of receiving his pension benefits.

Because Cherry was re-employed within a month of taking his retirement benefits, he lost his protected pension age and therefore incurred tax charges on his retirement benefits. He argued that the Commissioner failed to provide him with information about the tax penalties.

The Ombudsman determined that, although the Commissioner was under no legal obligation to advise individual employees on their tax liabilities, this case concerns the provision of relevant information about the impact on benefits following re-employment for an employee. The Ombudsman concluded that the Commissioner should reasonably meet the tax liabilities incurred by Cherry.