Pensions Ombudsman investigates 150 BSPS complaints

The Pensions Ombudsman is investigating a group of over 150 complaints in relation to transfer values given to members of the British Steel Pension Scheme.

A statement from the Ombudsman said that it will also be undertaking another group investigation regarding early retirement factors, and said it continues to receive “new complaints and a high volume of enquiries”.

It follows the news that the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) is going to enter the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) and anticipates further complaints regarding the transfer.

The Ombudsman said it was working closely with BSPS scheme trustees to ensure that it hears all complaints as soon as possible, and that it has set up accelerated one stage internal dispute resolution procedure (IDRP) in order to do so.

It reiterated that complaints must first be raised with trustees and follow the IDRP, and said that so far overall it has received 200 complaints under the accelerated procedure.

Last month, FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey hit back at the Work and Pensions Committee's claims that their work on BSPS was “grossly inadequate” and that it is continuing to take action where it has concerns.

The FCA said through its review of 109 financial adviser firms, advising on pension transfers from the BSPS, it decided to undertake a further 21 firm assessments and a review of individual case files to assess suitability.

Furthermore, over 25,000 members of the BSPS failed to return the options form which advises the scheme’s trustee on whether they want to transfer to the new scheme or to the PPF.

The Ombudsman has set up an advice line for members on 0800 917 4478.

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