The Pensions Ombudsman (TPO) – Ombudsman

Body: The Pensions Ombudsman(TPO)
Appointing Department: Department for Work and Pensions
Sector: Regulation
Location: London
Skills required: Regulation
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £143,095
Time Requirements: Full-Time


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

Press release
DWP announces new Pensions Ombudsman
Dominic Harris has been confirmed as the new Pensions Ombudsman.

He will take on the new appointment from 16 January 2023. The current Pensions Ombudsman, Anthony Arter, will remain in post until 15 January 2023.

Harris is currently a Partner in the Pensions Team at law firm CMS. He also serves as Chair of the Investment and Defined Contribution Committee of the Association of Pension Lawyers.

Minister for Pensions Guy Opperman said:

I am pleased to announce Dominic Harris as the new Pensions Ombudsman and wish to express my thanks to Anthony for his service in the role. Dominic’s previous experience makes him the ideal candidate to lead the service.

New Pensions Ombudsman Dominic Harris said:

I am delighted to be appointed as the new Pensions Ombudsman. The Ombudsman has a key role to play in ensuring access to justice in the pensions arena, and I am proud to be able to continue the good work of Anthony and his team at the organisation.

The Pensions Ombudsman is an independent organisation set up by law to investigate complaints about pension administration. It is a Tribunal non-departmental public body of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The role is a public appointment made by the Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions.

The main responsibilities of the Pensions Ombudsman are to:

investigate and determine pensions complaints
investigate and determine disputes concerning the Pension Protection Fund, and hear appeals against decisions made by the Financial Assistance Scheme manager
work with the Pensions Ombudsman Board to set the strategic direction for the organisation, and
build constructive and effective relationships with external and internal stakeholders, including the DWP and its ministers.
Further information
The appointment process has been an open competition regulated by The Office for the Commissioner of Public Appointments.
The Pensions Ombudsman is a full-time role and the Ombudsman is entitled to an annual remuneration of £143,095, which is uprated annually.

Two roles are fulfilled, the Pensions Ombudsman and the Pension Protection Fund Ombudsman.
Visit the Pensions Ombudsman website for more information.
Contact Press Office
Media enquiries for this press release – 0115 965 8781

Press Office

Caxton House
Tothill Street

0115 965 8781

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Date: 31/08/2022

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift

    w/c 21 March 2022 TBC

  • Final Interview Date

    w/c 30 May 2022 TBC

  • Announcement

    31/08/2022 at 13:00


Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Pensions Ombudsman investigates and determines complaints and disputes about the way that occupational and personal pension schemes are run. The Pension Protection Fund Ombudsman considers decisions made by the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) Board under the PPF’s internal procedures and decides on appeals against decisions by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Financial Assistance Scheme. Although the roles are provided for separately in legislation, they are held by one post holder. Throughout this document the term ‘Ombudsman’ will therefore cover both roles. The Ombudsman is supported by an organisation, known as The Pensions Ombudsman (TPO).

TPO provides an accessible service for dealing with pensions complaints. Determinations are final and binding on all parties, subject only to appeal in the High Court on a point of law. Services are provided free of charge.

In recent years the office has seen a steady increase in business which also includes the transfer of the Early Resolution Service from The Pensions Advisory Service to TPO in March 2018.

Further details can be found on TPO’s website and specifically in its corporate plan and Annual Report and Accounts.

TPO is a statutory tribunal and Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) sponsored by the DWP.

 The Role of the Ombudsman

The role of the Ombudsman offers a challenging mix of complex case work and the opportunity to lead an independent, customer focused organisation. The Ombudsman is responsible for making determinations on individual cases which are final and binding on all parties, subject only to appeal in the High Court on a point of law and is responsible for the oversight of the office and casework management.

Key responsibilities of the post include:

  • Investigating and determining pensions complaints.
  • Investigating and determining disputes concerning the Pension Protection Fund and hearing appeals against decisions made by the Financial Assistance Scheme manager.
  • Maintaining a high standard of decision making both in terms of personal decisions and in cases resolved by staff.
  • Working with TPO Board to set the strategic direction for the organisation, taking responsibility for managing staff and the organisation’s performance, ensuring it delivers its objectives in a cost effective, efficient way.
  • Building constructive and effective relationships with external and internal stakeholders including DWP and its Ministers.
  • As Accounting Officer, ensuring that TPO operates effectively and to a high standard of probity, and being responsible for the efficient, economical and effective use of its resources


Person Specification

Essential Criteria

The successful candidate must demonstrate:

  • strong and effective senior leadership qualities including the ability to shape the strategic direction of an organisation, support the delivery of agreed goals, priorities and statutory obligations, managing staff and organisational performance, and the ability to lead through others;
  • excellent stakeholder management and communication skills, in particular the ability to engage and build effective relationships quickly with Ministers, policy makers and other key stakeholders in the pensions industry;
  • a proven ability in weighing evidence, setting out reasoned decisions and understanding principles of legislation; and
  • the ability to make decisions requiring the analysis of complex issues with possibly significant legal and financial consequences.

 Desirable Criteria

  • Up to date knowledge of pensions law and practice.
  • Knowledge of the environment in which the public sector operates.
  • Understanding of the role of an ombudsman or experience of resolving complaints from consumers/members of the public.
  • Experience of dispute resolution.
  • Understanding of and commitment to promoting high standards of customer service to members of the public.


How to Apply

In order for us to progress your application please submit the following completed documentation:

1. A CV(maximum 2-3 pages) with your education and professional qualifications and full employment history.

2. An accompanying Supporting Statement (maximum 2 pages) – this is your opportunity to demonstrate how you meet each of the criteria set out in this information pack. The initial sift is based on this information, so it is important to fully address the criteria. You should aim to provide specific examples that demonstrate how your knowledge and experience matches each of the criteria, and which describe what your role was in achieving a specific result.

 Please ensure your full name is clearly stated at the top of your CV and supporting statement. Please also confirm the role that you are applying for at the top of your supporting statement;

3. Personal Information Form Most of the information requested is not seen by the panel assessing your application (though the panel may consider your declaration of interests).

 4. Diversity Monitoring Form. Collecting and analysing candidate data will help us improve our diversity strategy. It will allow us to run more successful recruitment exercises in the future and ensure that competitions are fair for all. This form is not part of the selection process and will be treated in strictest confidence. It will be kept separate from your application and not be seen by the selection panel.


 The closing date for applications is 06/03/2022 at 23:59

 Please submit applications via the Hays Portal Below.

Click here to apply

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TPO Ombudsman Candidate Pack_Final - 07 02 22
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