What we do
Join the team – About Us
We have a team of over 100 people who deal with enquiries, decide whether we can look at a complaint, investigate complaints and ensure the organisation is well run.
In addition, we have a volunteer network of over 200 pension professionals who help us resolve complaints and disputes at an early stage. The Pensions Ombudsman combines in one organisation the Pensions Ombudsman and the Pension Protection Fund Ombudsman. Our primary function is handling pension complaints and disputes. We act impartially and our service is free.
Our office is located at 10 South Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London E14 4PU. The TPO office is modern and spacious with its own kitchen area. In addition our staff have access to shared facilities throughout the building, which normally includes a subsidised restaurant and a number of coffee shops. In addition there are many food outlets and supermarkets close by.
Those who enjoy socialising after work are spoilt for choice, with many bars and restaurants within a few minutes’ walk.
The office is readily accessible by public transport, within easy reach of both Canary Wharf’s underground and DLR stations, the bus network and the river bus.
We recognise that staff will often be balancing personal commitments with work. We adopted a hybrid-working model in 2018, with all staff having the opportunity to work some days from home and/or work flexi-time. In addition to our hybrid-working model, we are happy to consider a range of flexible working requests including part-time hours, compressed hours and job-shares. We will facilitate those requests where we can, irrespective of the grade of the post.
We take the views of our staff seriously and recognise the importance of providing different ways for staff to be involved with what is happening in the organisation. In addition to the important role of our team leaders engaging with their teams, we have a monthly catch up between the executive team and all staff, a Staff Communications Forum, Diversity and Inclusion Group and encourage staff to join our recognised trade union, the PCS.
We want all staff to feel that they are developing in a way that is right for them and you will be encouraged to take ownership of your own development. Your manager will help you to understand what you need to improve in your role and ensure that you have access to sources of knowledge and skills training. If you have the objective to move on in your career, we will work with you to explore how that can be achieved. This may be through increasing your professional knowledge base, working with other teams on project work or participating in one of our formal programmes such as the Aspiring Managers course.
If a health condition means that you need some changes to your working arrangements, we will make what are known as ‘reasonable adjustments’. Usually we ask our Occupational Health advisers to discuss your needs with you or alternatively will engage with Access to Work to assess needs. We are accredited as a Disability Confident employer, which means that if you have a disability you will be guaranteed an interview if you meet the minimum criteria for the role.
In addition to your salary and flexible working arrangements, we provide a range of benefits
Although we aren’t part of the Civil Service, all staff irrespective of length of service or age are eligible to join the Civil Service Pension Scheme. For new entrants, the standard pension scheme is the Alpha scheme which is a defined benefits scheme with the benefits calculated on how much you earn each year. Depending on your salary you will be required to contribute between 4.6% to 7.35% of salary and TPO will contribute between 26.6% and 27.9% of salary (for the average employee the rates are 5.45% and 27.1% respectively). This enables staff to build up an extremely valuable retirement provision.
Buying and Selling Annual Leave
Your standard leave entitlement will be 27.5 days per year, running from the 1st April. At the start of each leave year you can buy up to ten days additional leave or sell up to five days.
We recognise that being a new parent takes a lot of effort! We go beyond the statutory requirement for maternity leave in that, if you have a year’s service by the time your maternity leave starts, you can take 26 weeks maternity leave at full pay, followed by another 13 weeks leave at statutory maternity pay rates followed by another 13 weeks unpaid leave.
Employee Discount Scheme
Our discount scheme ‘myLifestyle’ provides access to a range of discounts and offers covering almost anything you could want, from travel offers, big tech purchases, gym subscriptions through to the supermarket food shop. We also provide a government approved cycle to work scheme that enables you to obtain a new cycle and equipment, with the cost spread over a year and deducted from salary, which reduces the amount of tax you pay.
If you experience illness or injury that temporarily prevents you from working, we pay sick pay at full pay for six months followed by six months at half pay, subject to compliance with our policy.
Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)
We provide free of charge a 24 hour a day EAP that delivers totally confidential advice and support across a wide range of issues, including health and wellbeing, relationships and money.
Our Staff’s Perspective
Don’t take our word for it, see what our staff have to say
Nishma – Senior Adjudicator
As a Senior Adjudicator, my role is to investigate complaints, assess the information provided and provide a view on the way forward. All cases are different, so you have to make sure you grasp what is being complained about, what the key issues are and what outcome the respective parties are seeking. You often need to ask one or more parties for further information, and then work out how that changes the direction of the case. Sometimes, complex legal issues need to be tackled. It can be a long road but it is satisfying when you get to the end with the right answer!
I enjoy that my role involves being inquisitive, asking questions and leading an investigation. I also like that I am able to work independently; you are in charge of your own caseload and decide the work you do on a given day. However, importantly, there are always friendly colleagues available for case collaboration when wanted. Lastly, I greatly appreciate being able to work the hours that suit me; our flexible working policy is brilliant.
Sean – Jurisdiction Adjudicator
As a Jurisdiction Adjudicator, my role is to look at the complaints that we receive and decide whether we are able to accept them for investigation in line with our regulations.
We can reject a complaint for investigation for a wide range of reasons, this might be because the application was received outside of our time limits; or alternatively we might reject a complaint on the basis that it would be more appropriate for another body to look at the complaint. It is a varied role, some decisions are more complex than others and no two individual cases that we look at are the same.
Working for TPO is very rewarding, your work can really make a difference to people. There is also greater scope for a healthy work-life balance as a result of flexible working opportunities which is always a positive
Tunde – Enquiries Manager
As an Enquiries Manager, I lead a fantastic team of Enquiries Specialists dealing with questions about what we do and how we can help customers bring a complaint to us. No day is the same and it is quite fast paced, but we try to help each other as much as possible.
Working for TPO is very interesting as you come across a variety of pension issues and circumstances, so you get opportunities to learn and develop both on the job and via training.
Liz – Senior Lawyer
As a Senior Lawyer, I work with colleagues right across TPO, carrying out a great variety of work. This includes: working with Adjudicators to deal with legal issues that arise from complex cases; being involved in shaping policy within TPO; producing guidance notes and/or training sessions; providing litigation support; and working with external stakeholders.
I appreciate the diversity that TPO offers, through learning new things and gaining new experiences. Every day is different and presents issues that I had not encountered previously. TPO is a friendly, sociable and supportive place to work, with good opportunities for personal development, and I gain much satisfaction from knowing that the work I do often has a significant effect on individuals’ lives.