Defined Benefit 

Another firm forced to stop pension transfers

Another firm forced to stop pension transfers

Inspirational Financial Management is the latest firm to stop advising on defined benefit transfers after intervention from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), as part of the watchdog's work on the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS).

The West Yorkshire firm submitted a voluntary requirement to the regulator and agreed to cease all defined benefit pension transfer business immediately, according to a letter sent by Megan Butler, the FCA’s head of supervision, to Frank Field, chairman of the Work and Pensions select committee.

She said: “Over the Christmas period we have published further voluntary requirements bringing out total to eight firms.

“As we have with the previous voluntary requirements, we have provided the names to The Pensions Regulator for them to share directly with the [British Steel] trustees.”

Inspirational Financial Management's decision follows Bartholomew Hawkins, Vintage Investment Services, Retirement & Pension Planning Services, West Wales Financial Services, Active Wealth (UK), Pembrokeshire Mortgage Centre and Mansion Park, which have also ceased to advise on pension transfers.

Steelworkers had until 22 December to decide whether to move their DB pension pots to a new plan being created, BSPS II, or stay in the current fund, which will be moved to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).

The scheme has about 130,000 members of which 43,000 are deferred, which means transferring out of their pension is an option for them.

FTAdviser reported in November that several steelworkers appeared to be transferring out their pensions after being lured by cheap deals by unregulated introducer firm Celtic Wealth Management & Financial Planning, which then referred the clients to advice firm Active Wealth.

The Work and Pensions select committee, which held hearings with steelworkers, financial advisers and regulators amid concerns about the financial advice being given to the members, will publish a specific report on this case early this year.

maria.espadinha@ft.com

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