Time to Choose extended to December 22nd
This blog is for members of BSPS , their families and friends, who have yet to choose their options and need help. It outlines the large number of places you can go for help and the big message is to calm and cool over the next few days. You need to have an option form and it needs to get to British Steel by the deadline.
It’s Christmas. Get your form in the post well in advance of the 22nd. BSPS will write to you confirming they’ve got your form within 10 working days of getting the form.
In the final days before the deadline for BSPS members to choose their ongoing pension providers, it’s worth pointing out that the decision to be taken by December 22nd is a simple one.
As I have written here, the PPF can be the right choice (if you have special needs for a pension starting earlier than normal or you want more tax free cash), but generally you will get more from BSPS2 if you are a pensioner or a typical steel worker.
Help from the Sun
Thankfully the Sun is giving steelworkers good advice.
Help from TPAS
If you haven’t made a decision and sent back the option form pictured above, your pension is heading into the Pension Protection Fund on March 29th. If you are unsure of what to do you should take the Pensions Advisory Service offer and give them a ring on 020 7932 9522. The TPAS helpline is independent of BSPS and Tata and funded by the tax-payer.
Call the number for response hours, or you can use TPAS’ 24 hour enquiry form. TPAS also offer web-chat (if you’re in the silent carriage and you can even speak to one of their people using a web-video link.
Michelle Cracknell tells me they want you to phone!
Help from BSPS guidance helpline
Alternatively you can call the guidance helpline offered by BSPS which is on If you’re a pensioner, phone 0808 168 8709 (or +44 (0) 1206 585 361 if you’re calling from outside the UK).
If you’re not a pensioner, phone 0800 085 7264 (or +44 (0) 113 823 1344 if you’re calling from outside the UK).
Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm, until 22 December 2017.
When you call the helpline, please tell them your member reference number on your option form.
I spoke to the person in charge of this helpline yesterday, his team are tired but proud of what they are doing and they want your calls!
Help from Chive
For people who are looking beyond the choices in the form above, there is Chive. Chive consists of a group of nearly 100 qualified financial advisers who are giving guidance and help to those who have transferred, are in the process of transferring or are thinking about the transfer option.
Chive is currently operating in many towns where a lot of current and former steelworkers live or work. If you want to have a meeting with a Chive counsellor in Port Talbot, there is a booking form here. If you want a meeting elsewhere there is a full list of towns covered and further booking forms linked to them. You can also contact Alastair Rush using firstname.lastname@example.org .
Help on Facebook.
I am heartened by the quality of chat and the warmth and positivity of those in the Group towards the page founders and moderators. Here’s a typical comment from a steel man in Rotherham.
Well, just put calculator down, my brain is now fried, but I am 99% certain that it’s ppf for me. Would like to thank Rich and Stefan for their help via email and pm, it’s been a godsend. Ppf definitely better than bsps 2 for early retirement and lump sum and transferring is not for me
You can call the British Steel Pension Scheme directly
This really isn’t a good idea if you can possibly help it and should only be tried as a last resort after going down all other avenues. These people are working flat out processing forms and your call is probably going to make delays worse
PENSION TRANSFER QUERIES FROM IN THE UK
|Telephone||0330 440 0844|
|Writing from the UK
(No need for a stamp)
|British Steel Pension Scheme
|Writing from outside the UK||British Steel Pension Scheme
105 Waterloo Street
PENSION TRANSFER QUERIES FROM OUTSIDE UK
The number for calling the Pensions Transfer helpline at the pensions office from outside the UK is 0141 274 2250.
Pay attention to your pension.
Whatever you do , now is the time to pay attention to the pension. Thanks to the good works of many people, you won’t have to do it alone and the decision you have to make by December 22nd is very simple, do you want to head for PPF or BSPS2.
If you have already completed your transfer out of BSPS, you can of course ignore 22nd December. You now have the job of managing your pension fund yourself and that is another story. You must pay attention to your pension more than anyone.