Pensions  

Regulator probes missing data in British Steel pension deal

“If you’re a non-pensioner and your option pack has no personal figures, you can find information about your deferred benefits in your latest deferred benefits statement. If you can’t find this statement, please phone the helpline and ask for a replacement.”

The trustees suggest that, if the member is considering a transfer, the saver or its financial adviser can “can ask the helpline for a fact sheet that sets out in more detail how pension increases in the new scheme will be calculated”.

“This will help your adviser carry out the analysis they need to advise you,” it said.

Allan Johnston, trustee chairman, did not reply to requests for comment on this matter at the time of going to press.

According to Mr Zaitschenko, “people that are receiving calls in the hotlines don't have any other information than the one in the booklets”.

He said: “It takes members 15, 20 calls to get through the pensions office” in an attempt to try to get more data.

Besides Labour MP Frank Field, which chairs the Work and Pensions Committee and has been involved in this matter, also MP Nic Dakin has shown concern over this matter.

In a post in his Facebook page, Mr Dakin said that a number of people has been raising this issue, and that “it would be much better to have this information”.

He said: “I will contact them to urge them to address the issue. It is important that this issue is raised at the roadshows as well.”

Currently, the trustees are promoting open meetings to discuss all issues regarding the pension scheme in several UK cities.

Mr Zaitschenko is advocating that a delay should be offered to the members who haven’t got all their information.

He said: “Ninety per cent don't have a problem with the information, and can make their decision. That would not harm the creation of the new scheme at all.”

According to Kusal Ariyawansa, a chartered financial planner at Manchester-based Appleton Gerrard, this is “a crazy situation”.

He said: “Funds should be available so these members can get a straight forward opinion from an adviser. At least an opinion would help, instead of you can do A, B or C.”

Mr Ariyawansa argues that a facility should be created, in which members “could have a voucher scheme or similar to go to an adviser so they can have an opinion”.

As part of the deal with Tata Steel earlier this year, the Pension Regulator gave its formal approval to a regulated apportionment arrangement (RAA).

Designed for multi-employer schemes, under an RAA the participating employer in a DB pension scheme stops participating in the scheme, and the departing employer's share of the employer debt that would otherwise be due to the scheme is split among one or more of the remaining participating employers.