UK - Pensions advisory service OPAS has hit out at the six-month time limit for part-timers claiming entry into a company pension scheme.
OPAS is receiving a large number of complaints from part-timers – particularly from women – who have lost out on pension benefits.
Test cases held in Nottingham in July ruled that part-timers only had six months to backdate a claim for an occupational pension once they had left an employer.
But OPAS chief executive Malcolm McLean says the decision has caused “considerable confusion and fury” among many women who have contacted OPAS for advice.
He said: “Those who left their employment before the issue of part-timers was the subject of court action are asking how they could be expected to know that they had a potential claim.”
And he added that many other part-timers had been frustrated after they had lodged a claim while still working with their companies in the false belief that this was sufficient to gain access to the scheme.
McLean explained: “It is only on contacting OPAS that they discovered that their claim should have been made to an Employment Tribunal, and that they are now out of time for doing so.”
He added that people felt the six-month limit was too restrictive and it was unfair that they were now being denied justice on the grounds of a technicality and through no fault of their own.
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