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Ask JGM Your Own Question
JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 11150
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I was offered a final salary pension in a written offer but

Customer Question

I was offered a final salary pension in a written offer but have only discovered after 2 years employment I was enrolled in a DC2010 pension scheme. I ahd no idea what the difference was at the time. I'm originally American, so not familiar with UK plans. My employer now says enrollment in the final salary has been closed and will not change my contract. Do I have any recourse?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question.
What does your contract of employment say about the pension?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It states I could join the DC2010 plan - clause attached. I also attached the clause in the written offer I received, and accepted verbally on the phone. I had no idea the two were different until long after joining - when I checked the pension website and could not get in, and was advised I was in a different scheme
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
To continue - so I did join the plan, thinking it was the original pension offered and have contributed myself over the past 3 years. I understand it is not straight forward to evaluate the difference in the plans - although we have 3 years track record on which to compute a lump sum value for each - I would think?
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
So the job you accepted offeed one type of pension plan (which you accepted) but your contract of employment stated another.
Have you asked HR why this has happened? That should be your starting point. And whine did the scheme "close",mpresumably, they mean, to new employees.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did ask HR and was told that there would be a 'cost of change' and yes, the pension was closed to new employees as of Jan 2014. Basically they are reluctant to do anything about so I have escalated the question to my VP who is checking now. Another complication is that DC2010 people get a 15% flex allowance that the final salary people do not get - so that needs to be addressed but HR did not indicate how that would happen. I've also asked for an estimate value for each plan to understand what the difference is as of today had I been put in the final salary scheme as offered. They are supposed to do that - but I would easily guess that the final salary is/will be worth much more than DC2010.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry - HR had no explanation why the change happened. They did not even admit there was an error although I said there clearly has been an error made between offer and contract. I never received any communication that the contract was different than the written offer.
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
It appears to me that you have a cause of action against your employer for breach of the agreement and that they would have to recompense you for any loss arising from their failure to enrol you into the final salary scheme. You would have to raise a formal grievance in the first instance in accordance with their published procedures and you will have to take the advice of an IFA to see what the difference is likely to be.
JGM and other Scots Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK - thanks very much for your opinion, I felt that was the case so good to check. I think we are good and I will provide feedback.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry - just one more if I may. You've seen this is a large company, and I am hopeful for an equitable outcome without going to grievance route - however, do you have any idea/experience in these types of cases? Would you expect it to be quick or would they perhaps stall and use tactics to drive me away on mounting legal costs etc.? I suppose this is a tribunal route ultimately in Scotland? Thanks again
Expert:  JGM replied 1 year ago.
This type of company would normally try to deal with it quickly so as to reach a resolution.