Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure – a note for all users
Over the course of a member’s employment, and after they have left, certain decisions are taken that can have an effect upon their rights and benefits. Because of this, where decisions are taken, and the member disagrees with them, the law provides them with the opportunity to challenge the decision under the IDRP.
As employers in the Fund you have certain obligations to meet under the IDRP process which have been summarised in this note.
Employers should also implement a discretions policy to capture their approach to decisions and the IDPR process. To assist with this the Fund has developed a template policy which employers can adopt:
Decisions and IDRP policy template
We would request that all employers follow the procedure and adopt the policy. All complaints received under the IDRP should be dealt with in a reasonable timeframe and the member should be kept informed of progress throughout.
“Discretionary functions policy, determination of rights/liabilities, internal dispute resolution procedure
As a reminder, to comply with the Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations, all scheme employers are required to:
Prepare and publish a written statement of its policy in relation to the exercise of its discretionary functions in relation to award of additional pension, funding of additional pension, waiving of actuarial reduction and flexible retirement. The policy must be kept under review and revised as appropriate following a change in policy. A copy of the policy and any revisions to it must be provided to Cheshire Pension Fund within one month;
Determine any question for which it is responsible concerning the rights or liabilities under the Cheshire Pension Fund as soon as is reasonably practicable. Where any such question involves the exercise of a discretion, scheme employers should ensure that it is determined in accordance with its discretionary functions policy. Ill-health applications should be determined in accordance with the relevant statutory guidance. Notification of the decision should be given in writing and include a statement that the person may apply for the decision to be adjudicated in accordance with CPF’s internal dispute resolution procedure (IDRP) and give the job title and address of the person appointed by the scheme employer to consider such applications.
Appoint an appropriate person to act as “adjudicator”, in accordance with the IDRP, to consider applications from any person whose rights or liabilities under Cheshire Pension Fund are affected by a decision, or other act or omission, of the scheme employer. Scheme employers should confirm who they have appointed as adjudicator by submitting a completed “IDRP – Employer nominated person” form to Cheshire Pension Fund. Details of the job title and address of the adjudicator must be included in any written notification of any scheme employer decision concerning the rights or liabilities under the Cheshire Pension Fund;
Where an application is received under Stage 1 of the IDRP, the adjudicator should determine the matter within 2 months of receipt. If the adjudicator cannot determine the matter within that time, the adjudicator must write to the applicant to explain the reason for the delay and the expected date for the decision. The Pensions Regulator considers that decisions should usually be made within a maximum of 4 months. Notification of the decision should be given in writing and include a statement that the person may apply for the decision to be referred to Cheshire Pension Fund for adjudication in accordance with the IDRP, as well as a statement that the Money and Pensions Service is available to give assistance with any issue that remains unresolved. A copy of the notification should be sent to Cheshire Pension Fund as well as to the applicant.
- Give Cheshire Pension Fund such information as it requires in order to discharge its functions. Where information is requested, it should be provided as soon as reasonably practicable.
- Scheme employers should check that their internal policies and procedures are compliant with these requirements. They should also remember that, as a matter of good practice, if they receive a request for determination of rights or liabilities under the Cheshire Pension Fund, or an application under Stage 1 of the IDRP, they should ensure that the applicant is kept duly updated.
- Further information about scheme employer duties, as well as relevant forms and helpful template documents, are available on the CPF website: