Steelworkers unsure about whether they are eligible to claim compensation following the British Steel Pension Scheme scandal are being encouraged to attend a free seminar to find out more about their options.
Lawyers from Clarke Willmott’s financial services litigation team are holding a series of free, no obligation talks in May across Scunthorpe and Stockton-on-Tees.
The seminars will cover what happened and why people were badly advised, who are likely to be eligible for compensation and options available going forward.
Attendees will also hear about others who have already made claims and the difference it has made to their financial situations.
In March, the FCA announced a new £71.2mn redress scheme for BSPS members who received unsuitable advice to transfer out of their pension.
Clarke Willmott explained that unfortunately, many people will be unable to participate in this compensation scheme, and perhaps be unable to pursue compensation at all if they delay taking action.
Part of the seminar will explain this with the hope that no one is left behind.
To date, the law firm said it has recovered over £20mn in compensation for hundreds of steelworkers affected in Teesside, Scunthorpe, Middlesbrough and South Wales.
Philippa Hann, a partner in the team, set up a taskforce in 2018 which has been helping victims claim compensation.
She said: “Around 7,700 steelworkers were advised to walk away from their final salary pension schemes and transfer into higher risk private arrangements.
“It has since been found that much of the advice handed out was wrong, leaving people worse off in retirement than they would have been. Those affected are eligible for compensation.”
Hann explained that the firm is finding that many former BSPS members do not realise that they should not have been advised to transfer their pensions or that they are unsure on what to do about it.
These informal talks are aimed at helping both those who have already started a claim and those who are deciding whether to take the next step.
“We’re working hard to raise awareness and encourage people to come forward,” she said. “Some people, namely those who transferred before 2017, will by the end of this year likely find themselves out of time to pursue compensation, whether through the FCA’s recently-announced compensation scheme or otherwise.
“For those people, complaints should be commenced very soon to try to avoid the risk of being too late.”
Hann added: “We understand that pensions can be complicated and it can be daunting to be involved in a compensation scheme or taking a complaint through the Financial Ombudsman Service.
“Some people don’t think they have a claim because the value of their pension has gone up in the last few years since they transferred, but that doesn’t mean that they haven’t incurred a loss. The loss isn’t apparent now but will be felt in future, at retirement.”