How is the Scheme managed?

The Trustee

The Scheme is managed by Comet Trustee Company Limited, a company set up especially for this purpose. Comet Trustee Company Limited is run by a board of
directors who are appointed from all areas of the Company and the pensioner population. Some of the directors are appointed by Comet and some are nominated and selected by the membership. The Trustee is the body appointed to run the Scheme according to the terms of the Rules (the Scheme’s formal documents), and to look after the members’ best interests.

Your Trustee Board is made up of the following directors:

Ian Edwards Pensioner Nominated Director & Chairman
Simon Enoch Darty Company Secretary
James Arnold Former Comet Rewards Manager
Jon Herzberg Company Nominated Director
Victoria Milford Member Nominated Director
Helen Woodhouse Member Nominated Director

 

The Rules

Full details of your benefits and how the Scheme is run are set out in a formal legal document - the Rules. The Trustee is responsible for making sure that the Scheme is run in accordance with the Rules. If you would like to see a copy of the Rules, please contact Punter Southall. The provisions of the Rules and this guide may be revised from time-to-time. If there are any discrepancies between the Rules and this guide, the provisions of the Rules will overrule this guide.

The Scheme's Investments

The Trustee is responsible for the Scheme's investments. All contributions are paid into a fund that is kept completely separate from Darty. All benefits are paid from this fund.

The Trustee's advisers

The Trustee has delegated the day-to-day administration of the Scheme to Punter Southall, a specialist firm of pensions administrators. The Trustee has also appointed a number of professional advisers to help it in its duties, including an actuary, an auditor, lawyers and investment managers.

Actuarial valuations

The Scheme Actuary carries out regular valuations to make sure that the Scheme is able to meet its commitments to pay members' benefits. Legally, this must be done at least every three years. You can obtain a copy of the latest Scheme valuation report by contacting Punter Southall.

Tax relief

The Scheme is a registered pension scheme for the purposes of section 150(2) of the Finance Act 2004. As a result: 

  • employer contributions qualify for tax relief;
  • cash taken on retirement is tax-free;
  • lump sum death benefits are usually paid free of inheritance tax; and
  • the Scheme's investments are mainly exempt from tax.

Annual report and accounts

The Trustee is legally required to prepare a Report and Accounts for the Scheme each year and these are independently audited. Copies of the annual Report and Accounts can either be found on the Useful Documents and Forms page or from Punter Southall on request.

Changes to the Scheme

The Scheme may be amended or wound up at any time if circumstances change. If your benefits or rights are affected, you will be notified in writing. If the Scheme is discontinued, the Trustee will use the assets for the benefit of members and their dependants, as set out in the Rules. Should the assets be insufficient to cover the liability to pay benefits, under current pensions law, Darty would be required to pay further contributions.

Data protection

To calculate and pay Scheme benefits for you and your dependants, the Trustee needs to keep records of personal information. Some of this is information was received from Comet’s HR Department. Where appropriate, we also hold information provided by third parties such as your medical adviser or the administrators of your previous pension arrangements. As a member of the Scheme, you will be treated as having consented to the Trustee holding this information. You may also be required to give specific permission when completing forms relating to the Scheme.

The Trustee may make this information available to others (within the UK or in any other country) in connection with the administration of the Scheme or the payment of benefits under the Scheme. These include professional advisers - such as the Scheme administrator and the Scheme Actuary - Darty and, in certain circumstances, other employers.

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you have a legal right to know about the information the Trustee holds about you and your family and the purposes for which it is held. If you would like to know more, please contact Punter Southall.

What to do if you have a complaint

If you have a complaint about how the Scheme is run, in the first instance, you should take this up informally with our administrators, Punter Southall. 

If your complaint cannot be resolved informally, you should use the Trustee's formal disputes procedure. The procedure, which the trustee may alter from time to time, is divided into two stages and is set out below. It does not apply to disputes with your employer, even if they are about pensions.

Who can use the procedure?

You may make a complaint under the procedure if you have a disagreement with the Trustee and you are (or were in the six months before you invoke this procedure) or claim to be:

  • A deferred member or pensioner member of the scheme, or
  • The widow, widower or surviving dependant of any of the above.

Representatives

If you make a complaint under the procedure, you may appoint a representative to act on your behalf. The representative need not have any connection with the Scheme. If someone who has brought a complaint dies, the application may be continued by his or her Personal Representatives. If a person bringing a complaint is a minor, or is for some other reason incapable of acting for himself or herself, the application may be made or continued by a member of his or her family or by some other suitable person.

There are two stages to this formal procedure:

Stage One

If you wish to make a complaint, you must complete the attached Form IDRP1 and send it with any appropriate documentation to the Secretary to the Trustee, Comet Pension Scheme, PS Secretarial Services, Albion, Fishponds Road, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG41 2QE.

The form is available at www.comet-pensions.co.uk or can be obtained from the Comet Pension Scheme administrators, Punter Southall, on 0118 313 0700.

You will normally receive a response within 10 working days. If it is not possible to meet this deadline, you will be told why and when you can expect a reply. The reply will include:

  • what has been decided about your complaint, with reference to any part of the Rules or the law which has formed the basis of this decision;
  • whether the Trustee has exercised its discretion and under which Rule; and
  • what to do next if you are not happy with the outcome.

Stage Two

If you are not happy with the response received at stage one, you should complete the attached Form IDRP2 and send it with any appropriate documentation to The Chairman of Trustees, c/o Pension Scheme secretary, PS Secretarial Services, Albion, Fishponds Road, Wokingham, Berkshire RG41 2QE. You must do this within six months of the first decision. Your case will be reviewed by the directors as a group. You will normally receive their reply within two months. The reply will include:

  • what has been decided about your complaint, with reference to any part of the Rules or the law which has formed the basis of this decision;
  • whether the Trustee has exercised its discretion and under which Rule; and
  • what to do next if you are not happy with the outcome.

Additional help with complaints

The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) provides free help at any time to individuals with pensions queries, or with any difficulty they have failed to resolve with the trustees or administrators of their scheme. TPAS can be contacted at:

The Pensions Advisory Service
11 Belgrave Road
London
SW1V 1RB
Tel: 0845 601 2923
Email: enquiries@pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk
Web: www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk

The Pensions Ombudsman may investigate and determine any complaint or dispute of fact of law in relation to occupational pension schemes. Decisions made by the Pensions Ombudsman are legally binding on both the member and the trustees of their scheme. The Pensions Ombudsman is based at the same address as TPAS.
Tel: 0207 834 9144.

Email: enquiries@pensions-ombudsman.org.uk
Web: www.pensions-ombudsman.org.uk

Where to get further help and advice

If you have any queries about the Scheme or your benefits, or if you would like any further information, you should contact Punter Southall using the detail shown on the Contacts page of this website.

As we have mentioned, TPAS and the Pensions Ombudsman are available to help pension scheme members with queries or problems.