Pensions watchdog report due today

The watchdog that monitors pension schemes is to launch its annual report today.

Minister for Social and Family Affairs Martin Cullen will launch the 2006 Annual Report of the Pensions Ombudsman.

The report will include a digest of cases handled by the Ombudsman, whose office investigates complaints over the mishandling of pension schemes.

Pensions Ombudsman Paul Kelly is completely independent and acts as an impartial adjudicator.

Established in 2003 and empowered to carry out investigations, the office opened 297 files in 2004, its first full year in operation.

The Ombudsman's office also handles telephone queries and has received thousands each year since it began its work.

Anyone who believes they have suffered financial loss because of poor administration of a pension scheme or Personal Retirement Savings Account (PRSA) can file a complaint.

Those eligible to contact the ombudsman include a member or a former member of a pension scheme, plus a widow or widower or surviving dependant of a pension member who has died.

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