UK - Lawyers are urging the government to "make up its mind" over whether it is going to give the pensions ombudsman power to process group claims.
They claim casework is piling up because of the government’s indecision.
A consultation – set up to review the changes in regulations – ended seven months ago.
But many believe the measure has been shelved after some lawyers branded them unworkable.
Linklaters pensions litigation partner Mark Blyth said: “We have got cases in limbo because of this pending directive.
“It’s very unsatisfactory not to know how and indeed if these things are going to change the ombudsman’s jurisdiction.”
He warned that if the government decides to shelve the proposals – issued under section 52 of the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000 – many of the group cases that are currently on ice at the ombudsman’s office will “die a death”.
Blyth commented: “The ombudsman is sitting there with cases on his desk saying he can’t process them.”
Simmons & Simmons solicitor Camilla Barry said failure to adopt the new regulations will cost schemes and employers a lot more money to resolve disputes.
“Some trustees will settle claims where they think it isn’t worth going to court.
“But there will be instances where trustees will be in quorum over an issue that needs a resolution through court.”
Ashurst Morris Crisp senior associate John Sabel added: “The government should make up its mind on the regulations so that members who have common issues can decide whether to wait or to go it alone.
“The present uncertainty is also serving simply to increase the backlog of complaints to the pensions ombudsman.”
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