Defined Benefit  

Second British Steel adviser goes into liquidation

Second British Steel adviser goes into liquidation

An advice firm, which saw its pension transfer permissions suspended amid the British Steel saga, has gone into liquidation.

Retirement & Pension Planning Services, based in Barnsley, appointed liquidators at the end of last month.

The firm had applied to cancel its regulatory permissions last month and John Hedger of Seneca Insolvency Practitioners has been appointed as liquidator.

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Retirement & Pension Planning Services was one of 10 firms listed by the Financial Conduct Authority as having had their permissions varied in the fallout from the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) debacle.

Members of the BSPS were given until December 2017 to decide whether to move their DB pension pots to a new plan being created, BSPS II, or stay in the existing fund, which has since been moved to the Pension Protection Fund.

This meant there were thousands of scheme members looking for financial advice at the same time, putting them at risk of falling victim to scammers.

Towards the end of last year Retirement & Pension Planning Services submitted a voluntary requirement to the regulator and agreed to cease all defined benefit pension transfer business immediately in the wake of these issues.

The other firms which varied their permissions included West Wales Financial Services, County Capital Wealth Management, Bartholomew Hawkins and Inspirational Financial Management, which are all still trading.

Also on the list was Active Wealth, which was at the centre of a controversy involving unregulated introducer firm Celtic Wealth Management & Financial Planning.

FTAdviser reported in November several steelworkers appeared to be transferring out their pensions after being lured by cheap deals by Celtic, which then referred the clients to adviser Active Wealth.

Active Wealth went into liquidation earlier this year.

The regulator has said it will be collecting data from all financial advice firms which hold pension transfer permissions during this year.

In January the watchdog sent a letter to all firms holding pension transfer permissions revealing the red flags the regulator will be looking for when it enters advisers' offices.

damian.fantato@ft.com