Defined Benefit 

Third British Steel IFA regains transfer permissions

Third British Steel IFA regains transfer permissions

An advice firm involved in the British Steel transfer debacle has regained its pension transfer permissions.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register no longer shows Vintage Investment Services as subject to restrictions on providing advice.

The firm joins Mansion Park and County Capital Wealth Management, also trading as Pension Review Service, which had regained its transfer permissions in October and August, respectively.

Sam Tate, managing partner of Vintage Investment Services, told FTAdviser: "Having worked closely with FCA supervisors in order to improve our DB review processes, we are now pleased to be able to get back to servicing the holistic financial planning needs of our clients."

The FCA's requirement to cease all defined benefit (DB) pension transfer business still applies to two other firms, which had voluntarily stopped this business after the regulator intervened in the wake of the steelworkers’ pension saga.

Of the remaining five firms, three have opted to leave the pension transfer market all together and two have entered liquidation.

In a letter to independent Labour MP Frank Field chairman of the Work and Pensions Committee, in March, the regulator had listed the 10 firms which voluntarily gave up their permissions.

This is their current status:

Firms

Current status

Acklam Financial Limited

Exiting the pension transfer advice market

County Capital Wealth Management

Providing pension transfer advice

Vintage Investment Services

Providing pension transfer advice

Retirement & Pension Planning Services

Pension transfer permissions suspended; appointed liquidators

West Wales Financial Services

Exiting the pension transfer advice market

Active Wealth

In liquidation

Pembrokeshire Mortgage Centre

Exiting the pension transfer advice market

Mansion Park

Providing pension transfer advice

Bartholomew Hawkins

Pension transfer permissions suspended

Inspirational Financial Management

Pension transfer permissions suspended

Members of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) had to decide last December whether to move their defined benefit (DB) pension pots to a new plan being created, BSPS II, or stay in the existing fund, which was later moved to the Pension Protection Fund.

The scheme had about 130,000 members of which 43,000 were deferred, which means transferring out of their pension was an option for them.

FTAdviser reported last year 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, now in liquidation.

In the meantime, a group of steelworkers in Port Talbot has instructed a solicitor firm to pursue a legal case against all parties involved in the pension transfer scandal.

maria.espadinha@ft.com

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