British Steel Pension Scheme
This page contains further information for former members of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) who transferred their benefits out of the Scheme.
We know the last few years have been distressing for many members of the BSPS - so we wanted to let members know that The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) is here to help. We provide independent and impartial information and guidance about pensions, free of charge, to members of the public.
We help with all pension matters covering workplace, personal and stakeholder schemes and also the State Pension. We answer general questions, help with specific queries and offer guidance for people with complaints about their private pension scheme.
TPAS is a part of the Money and Pensions Service which is an arms-length body of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). We have a workforce of paid pensions specialists who have many years of experience working in the pensions industry.
TPAS provides information and guidance to help you make informed decisions about your pensions and retirement plans. Based upon what you tell us, we will always try to help you get the answers you need or identify the people you need to speak to.
You can contact TPAS’ British Steel helpline on 0800 756 1012 or click here for other ways to contact us.
Making a complaint about the financial advice you received on transferring your pension
The financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), found that many people that transferred out of the BSPS since 2017 received unsuitable financial advice. If you received unsuitable advice to transfer, you could be entitled to compensation.
If you are unhappy with any aspect of the financial advice you received about transferring you should consider making a formal complaint.
Check if the advice was right for you
You should consider whether your advice was suitable or not based on your needs. Use the FCA’s Advice Checker to understand whether the advice you received was right for you.
How to complain
If you believe you received unsuitable advice, the first step is to complain to the firm that gave you the advice. Please click here for a template letter that you can use – you don’t have to use this, it’s been designed as an aid to use if you need help to get started on the complaint process. A regulated financial firm must respond to your complaint in writing within 8 weeks, telling you whether the complaint has been successful or why they need more time to look into it. At this point if you are unhappy with the response, or you haven’t received one, you can refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
Using a regulated financial adviser gives you access to FOS. This service is independent and free to use. It can make awards for compensation where something has gone wrong. They have a dedicated team who are considering complaints involving the transfers out of BSPS. Please direct any complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org so the team can provide tailored support.
FOS has set up a new webpage specifically on BSPS which can be accessed by clicking here. The process for making a complaint is easy to do but if, you need help, FOS will be able to talk you through it by calling 0800 023 4567.
If your financial adviser is no longer in business, you can make a claim to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which is also free to use.
You do not need to use a claims management company (CMC) or a solicitor to make a complaint. If you do you will have to share any compensation you get with them.
If you need help, you can also contact TPAS’ British Steel helpline on 0800 756 1012 or click here for other ways to contact us.
Making decisions on the money in your new pension arrangement
You may also need to decide what to do with the money that is now in your new pension arrangement, especially where it is an arrangement that is not fully understood, has layers of charges and inappropriate investment fund(s).
If you are unhappy with an aspect of the scheme you moved into, you should consider what you might do with your pension pot:
- Check all charges that you are paying and the cost of exit.
- Look at your options for transferring e.g. to a workplace scheme (Tata Steel or current employer) or another personal pension arrangement.
- If you decide to stay in the arrangement, look at the investment options and consider if you should switch to other funds.
- Consider talking to another financial adviser (make sure they are authorised and regulated by the FCA). You can find a regulated financial adviser at: https://directory.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en.
Before making a decision on your next steps you should speak with TPAS for free, impartial guidance. You can contact TPAS’ British Steel helpline on 0800 756 1012 or click here for other ways to contact us.
Where can I find out more?
If you need more information, please contact us. A pension specialist from our team will be happy to help with whatever pensions-related question you have. Our help is always free.