Complaints and Disputes

 1. Complaints

Our complaints handling procedure reflects SPPAs commitment to serving the public. It seeks to resolve issues at the point of service delivery, and where necessary to conduct thorough, impartial and fair investigations of complaints.

The procedure which complies with the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman's guidance on a model complaints handling procedure. This procedure aims to help us 'get it right first time'. We want quicker, simpler and more streamlined complaints handling with early resolution.

Please tell us if you have a complaint.  These are generally about:

    • our standard of service
    • unreasonable delays
    • a mistake we have made
    • how you have been treated by our staff .  

We will apologise and put things right as quickly as possible. 

For more information please see our Guide to Complaints.

Complaints Report 2017/18

Complaints Report 2016/17

Complaints Report 2015/16

Complaints Report 2014/15


2. Disputes

Not receiving a favourable response about how the regulations have been applied is not a complaint.  We have an Internal Disputes Resolution Procedure if you are not satisfied with a decision that we have made.  Some examples are:

    • the amount of retirement benefits you have received
    • rejection or awarding of ill health retirement benefits
    • not being allowed to transfer in or out of the scheme. 

The IDRP complies with pension legislation and Citizen's Charter guidelines.  


Applications up to and including 30 April 2018

Up to and including 30 April 2018 the IDRP is a two stage process. The first stage asks you to write to or contact the Scheme Manager who will try to resolve your complaint and provide you with a response within two months (but sooner if possible). The second stage is to write to or contact the Director of Policy who will respond to you within 15 days of receipt of all information. All new IDRP applications received prior to 1 May 2018 will be dealt with under the two stage process.

Guide and Application Form


Applications from 1 May 2018

From 1 May 2018 onwards, the IDRP is a one stage process. An application for an IDRP review must be made in writing to the Director of Policy, who will try to resolve your complaint and let you have a response within four months (but sooner if possible). All new IDRP applications received on or after 1 May 2018 will be dealt with under the one stage process. 

Guide and Application Form


If you are still not satisfied, you can get advice from the Pension Advisory Service (TPAS).

Finally, you may take your case to the Pensions Ombudsman (PO) or The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) who can consider complaints which relate to the administrative actions of SPPA.  However, it is unlikely they can accept complaints which relate to decisions or omissions relating to provisions of pension regulations. You should contact SPSO directly to discuss whether your complaint can be considered.


Useful addresses and telephone numbers

The Pensions Ombudsman can be contacted at:

10 South Colonnade, Canary Wharf, E14 4PU. Tel: 0800 917 4487

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



You can also submit a complaint form online:


If you have general requests for information or guidance concerning your pension arrangements contact:

The Pension Advisory Service

11 Belgrave Road, London, SW1V 1RB

Telephone: 0300 123 1047



The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Freepost SPSO

Telephone:  0800 377 7330



3. Unacceptable actions and behaviours

We come into contact with many people in the course of our work and in the vast majority of cases, these interactions are positive and productive for all parties. Occasionally, the behaviour or actions of individuals we have dealings with make it impossible for us to continue any constructive engagement. In a small number of cases we have to consider taking steps to protect our staff or to ensure that our ability to work effectively is not undermined.

Our Unacceptable behaviour policy explains how we will approach these situations.


Link to Scottish Government Website