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Pensions Ombudsman investigates 150 British Steel complaints

The UK’s Pensions Ombudsman is currently investigating a group of more than 150 complaints and expects to receive more about transfer values linked to the beleaguered British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS).


In an update on Thursday, the Ombudsman said it is “aware of the problems” that have affected the BSPS, which culminated in the recent announcement that it is to enter the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).

“We will shortly be undertaking another group investigation where members have complained about the early retirement factors. We continue to receive new complaints and a high volume of enquiries from members and their representatives.

“As such, we anticipate further complaints regarding the expected BSPS transfer in PPF.”

Regulatory action

Scheme members were given until 22 December 2017 to opt for a new British Steel scheme or transfer their funds to another provider or the PPF.

Concerns around mis-selling and scammers taking advantage of members prompted the FCA to step in.

St James’s Place took the decision to stop providing advice to scheme members as it was “outside its risk appetite”.

In December, committee chair Frank Field described the pension scheme as a “honeypot for scammers”.

Last month, the Financial Conduct Authority confirmed it had contacted 109 firms connected to BSPS transfers in mid-January and requested further information from 66 of them.

A couple of days later, FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey hit back at claims from the Work and Pensions Select Committee that it was “sleepwalking into another mis-selling scandal”.

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