If you are a steelworker , you now have help on your pension options from TPAS. This is great news.
As from this morning, members of BSPS, can call experienced pension people who can discuss the scheme with the experience of TPAS counselling
My understanding is the same as Jo Cumbo’s; the provision of this helpline is at the FCA’s request and it is no small measure a victory for Jo who has championed the cause of steelworkers who have had precious little support so far. It is in direct response to the reports coming out of Port Talbot of a “feeding frenzy”,
We are now barely two weeks away from the end of the Steelworker’s “time to choose”. Some will argue this is too little too late. That would be wrong.
While the deadline for getting election forms back to the BSPS administrative centres is December 11th, there is an extended deadline for elections to transfer.
The trustees have requested that if the CETV is still valid that the election to transfer is received by March 15th to allow the paperwork from the FA to be verified as accurate and complete
This reflects the time it is taking turning round transfer quotes, getting the transfer analysis completed and in establishing (where appropriate) a plan capable of receiving a transfer).
For most steelworkers who have yet to make up their mind, TVAS comes in the nick of time. For steelworkers who have made up their mind but may be getting second thoughts, TPAS is there to reassure , confirm and on rare occasions to correct understanding.
Out of touch?
Anyone who thinks that TPAS is out of touch with the needs or ordinary people has not spoken to their helpline and has certainly not met Michelle Cracknell or visited their offices.
Michelle may look the prim headmistress but she has fire in her belly. I had the good fortune to watch her wind up an audience convened to discuss Pensions by London Fraud. Her brilliant talk focussed on her wish to start a coffee shop in her Hampshire village to jump on the band-wagon. She took us through the way the shop would run – it would have no queues as we’d all pay up front in advance, it would sell choice but deliver a single coffee and it would promise a coffee that would make you thin.
I suspect that 50% of the audience thought she was serious, so plausible was her business case. Michelle knows that scammers are smart, offer great customer service and are totally unscrupulous in promising what they know they cannot deliver.
TPAS are in touch and it is not too late!
TPAS know about these choices, which is why I urge steelworkers who are unsure of what to choose, or of their choice they have made to phone 020 7932 9522. This may have arisen out of reports from Port Talbot, but is as relevant for Scunthorpe, Redcar, Motherwell, Newport or wherever a steel worker lives today. TPAS is only a phone call away.
The choices made in the next two weeks have lifelong consequences. Don’t leave your choice to chance.