Pensions Regulator  

Pensions regulator hears from concerned steelworkers

Pensions regulator hears from concerned steelworkers

A representative from The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is meeting with steelworkers today (20 August) and tomorrow in Port Talbot, as part of a review being conducted into the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) transfer debacle.

Caroline Rookes, former chief executive of the Money Advice Service, who is in charge of the review, is in South Wales at the invite of Labour MP Stephen Kinnock.

Mr Kinnock said: "The Pensions Regulator is reviewing the support offered to members of the British Steel Pensions Scheme, so I would encourage steelworkers to pop along and let the regulator know about their experience."

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Lesley Titcomb, TPR’s chief executive, previously told FTAdviser the watchdog was reviewing the communications sent during the British Steel case from all parties, in order to develop better guidance for trustees about how to communicate with their members in these circumstances.

Problems started after British Steel owner Tata Steel formed plans to merge with rival ThyssenKrupp and pension liabilities were rearranged as part of a regulated apportionment arrangement (RAA) signed off by the TPR in August last year.

As a result, steelworkers were given until December to decide whether to move their DB pension pots to a new plan being created, BSPS II, or stay in the existing fund, to be moved to the lifeboat Pension Protection Fund.

The scheme had about 130,000 members of which 43,000 were deferred, meaning transferring out of their pension was 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.

In its response to the Work and Pensions committee report on British Steel, the regulator recognised "uncertainty regarding the British Steel Pension Scheme’s future may have contributed to the sharp rise in the level of [cash equivalent transfer value] CETVs requested".

maria.espadinha@ft.com