British Steel Pension Scheme open helplines
If you have received your “time to choose” information pack, a number of helplines have been set up by the British Steel Pension Scheme to help you.
These should be your first point of contact before you call TPAS for further information and guidance:
- Pensioners (including spouses and dependants) call 0808 1688 709. For outside the UK, call +44 (0) 1206 585 361
- Non-pensioners call 0800 085 7264. For outside the UK, call +44 (0) 113 823 1344
- Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm.
You can also find information on their website at https://www.bspspensions.com/
The helplines are for people with questions regarding their options, not for any other purposes.
You can also call the TPAS dedicated phone line from Monday to Friday 9am until 5pm on 020 7932 9522
Interested in transferring out of the Scheme?
If you are interested in transferring your pension out of the BSPS into an entirely different pension arrangement you should take independent financial advice – and legally you must do so if your transfer value is over £30,000. You can find a regulated financial adviser at: https://directory.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en.
Please note if you’re already receiving a pension, or are at least 64 years old, then you can’t transfer out.
Risks of transferring out – include:
- Giving up a guaranteed, inflation-proofed income which is payable for life and beyond that will usually be payable to a spouse or partner. Future income can’t be predicted with any certainty if benefits are transferred to a defined contribution (DC) scheme.
- What is your attitude to risk? Investment risk in the BS scheme is borne by the sponsoring employer. If you transfer into a DC arrangement then the performance of the investments affects the future value available to you. If investments perform badly then there may be a reduced amount available for income in retirement.
- What pension would the transfer value purchase on the open market? It may not be possible to buy an equivalent value of pension with attached benefits such as a spouse’s pension from an insurance company.
- Watch out for unauthorised advisers or scammers who could try and con you out of your pension. Further information on pension scams can be found here.
How do I withdraw a transfer request?
If you haven’t yet sent your completed transfer documents to the British Steel Pensions Office, you don’t have to do anything else. They won’t make any transfer payments before they’ve got all the appropriate documents from you.
If you have already sent your completed transfer documents to the Pensions Office, you have a right to withdraw your application to take a transfer payment, by formal notice to the Trustee. You’ll need to complete and send them a ‘Transfer Withdrawal Notice’ form, which is available by calling the Pensions Office’s Transfer Helpline on 0330 440 0850 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If the Trustee has already entered into arrangements with a third party, like the managers of the scheme you chose to transfer into, it will be too late to withdraw your application. If that’s the case, they won’t be able to accept your Transfer Withdrawal Notice.
If you have any queries about transferring your BS pension then please call the BS Pensions Office’s Transfer Helpline on 0330 440 0850 or our dedicated phone line on 020 7932 9522.
For people who are concerned about the security of their pensions or interested to know how the Pension Protection Fund works then you may wish to read our spotlight which can be found here.