The Steelworkers submission to parliament

stefan

1. Social Media

Rich Caddy created the British Steel Pension Members Facebook Group in April 2016 when Tata made their announcement about the future of Tata Steel UK (TSUK) Ltd and the potential impact on the British Steel Pension Scheme.

The purpose of the group was to provide members with a platform to discuss issues facing the BSPS.  A second group was created in September 2017 to focus on Deferred Members and the additional concerns of members considering transferring out.

In May 2016, Stefan Zaitschenko joined to offer help and support as he had been following the potential changes to BSPS.  He created the British Steel Pensions Members – Information & FAQs page to provide easy access to the queries raised regularly by new members.

David Neilly joined in December 16 as is an administrator providing support in the Port Talbot area.

There are a total of 25 admins and moderators from all parts of the UK and all British Steel communities.

The main group currently has over 5,100 members.   Any member can post on the group, email our confidential email address bspsmembers@gmail.com or private message any of the other members.  Hundreds of members have used private messaging to get one-to-one support.  Thousands have viewed the FAQ pages and asked additional questions.  Response time is usually within minutes to any query and this has been one of the major benefit from this social media platform.

There is a Twitter account @bspsmembers which is followed by members of the pensions industry and media.

Telephone support has also been given to assist members who at times just want a ‘sounding board’ to listen to their concerns and give ‘counselling’.

One post that sums up many of the views expressed:

“I wonder what the total amount of hours of lost sleep will be for all members struggling to make a decision on their options without the benefit of a crystal ball.  Even after the decision has been made I guess there will be many members still worrying in case they have made the wrong decision.

It is shameful that this is the outcome for workers who have given so much of their life to steel making. So many people thought the daily grind and the unsocial hours would be worth it to have a comfortable and relaxing retirement with a multi award winning pension scheme. Just so unfair.”


2. Background

Tata acquired Corus, now Tata Steel Europe, in April 2007. The European behemoth was formed by a merger of British Steel and Dutch firm Koninklijke Hoogovens in 1999. Tata Steel Europe became the 2nd biggest steelmaker in Europe behind Accelor-Mittal.

Tata Steel employees were given with free shares in the new company and informed that we had all become shareholders and that our future pensions and those of the existing pensioners were safe.  Within a few years, pension benefits were eroded steadily with the loss of, for example, ‘1 in 7’ additional years, change of accrual rates and ultimately scheme closure to new accruals.

BSPS Members Communications

The first statement to scheme members came in a letter in May 2016 which advised of a government consultation on ‘potential changes to the law’ and led with a statement which caused many to not read further.

“You do not have to take any action as a result of this letter but you may wish to participate in the consultation and will find details attached on how to do so.”

The consultation spoke of deficits, accruals, section 67 and changes in law to allow the Trustee to reduce benefits without member consent.  Many respondents opposed such changes and after several months, the consultation faded into the background without a conclusion.

Tata Steel UK/BSPS Trustee entered negotiations with the Pensions Regulator and Pension Protection Fund which would ultimately lead to the same outcome they had proposed in 2016 without a change in legislation.

In January 2017, scheme members received a second letter which led with the statement,

“This letter is to update you on recent developments in connection with the British Steel Pension Scheme. It is intended for information only and you do not have to take any action.”

This mailshot informed us of termination of benefit accrual, PPF compensation levels and a release of the guarantees and security provided to the BSPS by other Tata Steel companies, words which meant little to any but those having a background in pensions law.  It mentioned a Regulated Apportionment Arrangement and the efforts the Trustees were making to ensure better benefits for members.  In this letter, we were also told that there would shortly be the actuarial valuation in March 2017 and a recalculation of the funding level which was expected to show a modest deficit.  This reflected a statement made previously:

“A report on the Funding position as at 31 October 2016 on both a Technical Provisions basis and a Modified benefits low risk basis was reviewed by the Trustee. The Actuary reported that a modified Scheme with a low risk investment strategy would have had a funding ratio of 116% at that date and a buffer of over £2 billion to cover residual risks.”

This gave members a belief that the fund was on target to be in a strong position and to have recovered from the problems identified in previous letters.

However, speculation in the press continued and on 11 August, TSUK/TPR/PPF announced that they had negotiated the terms for TSUK separation from the BSPS fund. ]

“As a result, following lengthy discussions between the Trustee, TSUK, the Pensions Regulator and the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), it has been agreed that TSUK will make a final one-off contribution to the current scheme of £550 million and will then be free from any obligations to the current scheme.”

Members were informed that by the August newsletter that “Your pension is changing” and “It’s time to start thinking about what’s right for you”.

This 8 page newsletter contained a great deal of information including the headline that all members will have two options:

  • • Move with the current scheme into the Pension Protection Fund
    • Switch to the New British Steel Pensions Scheme

It also reminded non-pensioners who were more than a year away from retirement age that they could choose to transfer out of the current scheme.
The newsletter included a commitment to provide personal information by October to help make our choice and that we would have until December to choose.  A free and impartial helpline would be available so that we could speak to a pensions expert.
For most members this was the beginning of a period of anxiety, stress and concern as this document included phrases such as:

  • • lower benefits than in the current scheme
    • future increases will be lower

We immediately saw a huge increase in traffic on our Facebook Group as members wanted to know what it meant to them individually.   It was very clear that this was a wake-up call.  I told them that the pension that they believed was rock solid and would provide for them and their spouse through their remaining years was about to change.

The major emotions were:

  • • Anger – that the promise made to them when they signed as young steelworkers was being broken
    • Anxiety – that they didn’t know how this would affect them
    • Despair, pessimism and uncertainty

Through social media we were able to help by explaining the two choices and in general terms how the proposed changes in benefits would impact their pensions.  No additional information on the impact to them personally would be seen prior to their Time To Choose booklet being sent out later in the year.  So we were only able to illustrate how the choice of PPF or BSPS2 could affect them in the most general way.


3. Option Packs

From mid-September onwards, members were concerned that they had not seen their individual Time To Choose option packs that were due to arrive by October.  The first packs started to arrive w/c 8 October and included details of the two dedicated helplines; for pensioners and for deferred pensioners.

The packs were received in batches until the end of November and we are still aware of members who have received no information.  The helplines provided a professional service and answered many of the straightforward questions posed by the majority of members.  However, many packs arrived with little or no personalised information.  When called, the helplines directed the members to the Pensions Office for any additional information not available on their systems.

Members were told at the roadshows that, even without the figures that other members had received, they should have sufficient information in their annual pensions benefit statements and the generic examples to make their choice of the new scheme or PPF.

This is the post on the TTC website:

“We won’t be sending you any more figures on top of what is in your option pack, because it’s not possible to do that in the time available. If you’re a non-pensioner and your option pack has no personal figures, you can find information about your deferred benefits in your latest deferred benefits statement. If you can’t find this statement, please phone the helpline and ask for a replacement.”

“We know that the lack of figures in your option pack could make it harder to choose your option, particularly if you are thinking about transferring your benefits to another pension arrangement. If you are thinking of doing that, you or your financial adviser can get a fact sheet here. This sets out in more detail how pension increases in the new scheme will be calculated. This will help your adviser carry out the analysis they need to advise you.”

Many members and their IFA’s found that they did require additional information and tried to obtain this from the Pensions Office but the volume of calls and emails overwhelmed the available resources handling telephone and email queries.

The helplines provided for assisting members with clarification of the information in their packs were responsive and it was worthwhile in helping members interpret the data available.  Whilst they could answer a set of queries affecting those with a relatively straightforward choice, they could not provide any additional information beyond what was in the packs.  Members lacking figures or with more complex queries were referred to the pensions office.

Most complaints we have seen about the Consent Exercise have focussed on the inability to contact the pensions office in a timely manner.  Most calls are met with automatic disconnection due to the volume of traffic.  Emails are met with the automated response.  (see attached).

“Has anybody out there in this world of pension madness got an alternative number to 03304400844 to get in touch with the pension office. No one wants to answer on that number. I’ve emailed every day for a week and still no reply.”

The decision not to allow responses by emails and confusion over the address to return the option forms was the subject of many queries raised by members even after an update the TTC website.

We have an automated service checking the content of the website so that we can inform members of information updates immediately after they happen and point them to the relevant page.  Many of the outstanding questions could be answered and given a wide audience in a timely manner by this approach.


4. Indexation of Pre-1997 Accruals

The immediate change in benefits recognised by most members was that both the new scheme and PPF benefits would be at statutory minimums with neither including indexation for pre-1997 accruals.

Comparisons quickly showed that the Trustees view that the new scheme would be better for the vast majority was correct.
The Pensions Regulator in a letter dated 19 Sep 2017 stated:

“We fully appreciate that the pension increases the members will receive in the New BSPS are at the statutory minimum and are less generous than those of the BSPS. However, the proposal is the product of intensive negotiation between the BSPS trustee (on behalf of the members), TSUK and the wider Tata group. It seeks to reasonably strike a balance between the interests of the stakeholders and in the light of the alternatives.”

Many older pensioners who worked for the British Steel Corporation and British Steel PLC and left a decade before Tata purchased Corus now faced an uncertain future because the benefits, proposed in 2016, were thought to be a fair outcome.

This was said by the Chairman in the BSPS Trustee response to the government’s consultation:

“It is true that members whose pensions were earned wholly or mainly before 1997 might see little or no future increases to their pensions whilst in payment. But the same (or worse) would happen with PPF compensation. It should also be noted that existing pensioners in this group have enjoyed full RPI indexation since retirement, whereas future pensioners will not. If circumstances allow us to reinstate pension increases in the future, we would expect to prioritise pre-1997 accruals.”

Many family members of older pensioners, widows and dependents have expressed deep concern and anxiety about the real term reductions to their loved one’s pensions.  The lack of pre-1997 indexation leads to a potential 20% real term reduction over the next 10 years and this is seen as particularly unfair.

 “Hope someone can help, my dad has 26 years service all pre97 he has received little information from BSPS he doesn’t use any modern technology and I am his only hope to find out the correct information before he makes a decision in December. Dad is on a very small pension by today’s standards plus my mum is still with us so not having the pension index linked could mean hard times for them both! Would appreciate some advice.”

All efforts to persuade the BSPS Trustees and other stakeholders that took these decisions were met with the same answer which is known from previous responses to the Committee and APPG Steel.  The loss of pre-1997 indexation remains the overwhelming concern of the 82,000 pensioners and while scams have a devastating impact on an important minority this change affects a group who have no other source of income and are unable to cope with future cost of living rises.


5. Bridging Pensions

The impact of funding the High/Low (11-8) pensioners was covered in the BSPS Trustees response to the 2016 consultation.

Under current rules, members in receipt of the bridging pension would receive higher compensation from the PPF after reaching State Pension Age.  This windfall was estimated at £600 million and this would need to be taken from the assets destined for the new scheme.  In October we were made aware of the consultations on the draft amendments to the PPF regulations.  The 4,600 members were left in limbo and could not make their Choice of BSPS2 or PPF until this was resolved.

At the roadshows, questions about the PPF rule changes dominated much of the time allocated for Q&A but no answer could be given other than “We await the decision by Government”.  With the deadline approaching we saw anxious members trying to get advice on what they should do.  BSPS extended the deadline to 22 December and wrote to relevant members this week stating the government’s intention was clear; the PPF amendment would apply to all BSPS members transferring to PPF.

This issue will not be a concern to other DB schemes transitioning to PPF in the future.


6. Transferring Out

The option to transfer out of the scheme has been available to members as part of the scheme rules for many years so could be thought of as separate from the Time To Choose Consent Exercise.  In reality, the need to provide CETVs and other information in a timely manner has been the biggest problem to the members of our group and the pressure to consider transferring out has weighed heavily on their shoulders.

Pressure to transfer out

Historically transfers out of the scheme have been looked on as bad decision and it is evident that many remain reluctant to take this decision for fear of getting it wrong.  Normally anyone considering transferring out would have had put much time and effort into studying the options before starting the process by asking for a CETV.  Many of the younger members spoke to us about “not really thinking about pensions at their age” but now being forced to make a life changing decision against hard deadlines.

Whilst many knew little of this option prior to August when the newsletter was received, some were aware of the pension freedoms introduced in 2015.  Peer pressure came to the fore as transferring out was seen as the means to get total control of your fund with these new freedoms.

Demand for CETVs rose exponentially as members reacted to what became a “fight or flight” response.  They began to see leaflets, posters and business cards from IFAs along with new websites referring to the benefits of transferring out.  The first sites returned when Googling “British Steel Pensions” were IFAs offering free consultations for members who wanted to gain from the new pension freedoms.  The website designs appeared to show that there was some link to British Steel or Tata.

Recently, the first site being returned is a firm specialising in no win – no fee claims for “mis-selling”.
(see figure 1 : below)

We saw a huge surge of posts and replies extolling only the positive benefits of transferring out.  Many questioned the principle that DB schemes provide a ‘guaranteed’ pension as they saw vindication in their view that ‘nothing is guaranteed’ as BSPS2 was forcing ‘Hobson’s Choice’ of lower benefits on them.

“I look at it this way. I transfer out and what happens is my own fault stay in and I’m at the mercy of something that changes the deal anytime it likes. Nah ram it!”

The major perceived benefits for transferring out became:• Being in charge of your financial future with no company or state interference

  • • Death benefits for your wife and children
    • Their fund would gain from the inflation busting performance that they were told they WOULD get from private investment funds
    • CETVs are at their highest point (told at roadshows their TV’s would drop in BSPS2)
    • Being able to retire early and use the new freedoms of draw down

“Well after reading that (Pension transfer ‘wrong for 85% of British steelworkers’) it confirms that transferring out is right for me. I want to pay my mortgage off, retire early and half of my pension is pre 1997”

The differences in the underlying risks between a guaranteed DB scheme and a private plan was considered but not seen as a reason for remaining with a TSUK/BSPS. Many of the members believe that TSUK would “go bust and we would all end up in PPF anyway”.  Putting their trust in the PPF was perceived to be giving control of their future to politicians who could change the rules of the PPF when it inevitably collapsed under the weight of future DB scheme failures.figure10
Figure 1: Google search

There is also much importance being given to the lack of trust in Tata who “engineered this whole thing to get what they wanted and damage our pensions”.  The perception remains that the pension fund and the members were forced into this situation as collateral damage to allow a JV with ThyssenKrupp.  The timing of the signing of the MoU suggests there may be some truth in that.

“Any collaboration with Thyssen will favour the Germans which BS/Hoogovens favoured the Dutch (more powerful workers voice on board backed up legally so UK workforce suffered more pain).  Transferring guarantees me a CETV which is significantly more I would have expected, big numbers more than I would have been quoted 2 years ago, so Bank it and invest with someone you trust. It is yours no strings attached and you use it for your family to get the best outcome you can without looking over your shoulder.”

The members of the panel at the Thornaby Roadshows in November 2016 appeared not to appreciate that the choice of PPF or the new scheme also depended on the suitability of transfer for an individual member.  It is apparent that the trustees are focussed on one target; achieving the split of members and assets of BSPS by 29 March 2018.  Transfers appear secondary and must not affect this objective.

Lack of a guided pathway and counselling

The FCA’s regulatory guidance on DB to DC transfers and conversions (April 2015) appears to support the view that the role of the Trustee is provide the information in a timely manner, keep records and consider the effect of the transfer on the funding level.  Support to members is covered:

Trustees can support members in a number of ways to ensure they have the information they need to make a fully informed decision, including on how to find a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) authorised adviser.

Trustees can do this by making members aware of the FCA’s consumer pages at http://www.fca.org.uk/consumers.

This was considered at the June 2017 Trustee board meeting:

The Trustee approved the setting up of a separate member helpline service to provide guidance when members come to make their decisions. The Trustee decided however that it was not appropriate to recommend a particular firm of independent financial advisers for those members who wished to pay for more detailed, individual advice.
The decision not to provide a guided pathway and independent counselling to their members, most of whom with little experience of investments, set them on a turbulent journey which left them vulnerable to dubious advisers and unsuitable financial advice. On the 29 November, an additional section was added to the Q&A’s on the TTC website:

You should think carefully before transferring out. You would be giving up guaranteed future pension income in return for income that might not be guaranteed and could vary depending on how you manage it. You should take independent financial advice – and legally must do so if your transfer value is over £30,000. You should be very careful to avoid scammers and unscrupulous financial advisers. You can find an adviser from unbiased.co.uk. Make sure they’re authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority with permission to advise on pension transfers. You can check this by looking up the adviser at http://www.fca.org.uk.

Even though transfer values can seem very large, transferring out is unlikely to give you as much total pension income as either the PPF or the new scheme, on a like-for-like basis.

We took a (unscientific) poll asking

“Do you agree that the Trustees should have supported you more in terms of information on the risks of CETV release and provided a panel of ‘preferred’ IFAs?” The response from 200 members was “94% YES; Strongly”.

Finding a suitable adviser and getting all the relevant data

Transfer values were ‘mind-blowingly large’ compared to any sum the members were likely to see in their lives and expert regulated advice was a legal requirement.  Finding a suitable adviser and meeting the deadlines became a near impossible task for the following reasons:

  • • Numbers of members who requested CETVs – overwhelmed local FCA approved advisers
    • ‘Harvesting’ by unregulated introducers and out-of-area advisers intent on ‘turning the handle’ rather than giving the counselling and impartial advice
    • Not considering the individual needs at all – many were told to transfer at the initial meeting
    • Concern over the reliability of unbiased.co.uk
    • Finding a suitable adviser on ww.fca.org.uk required “an MA in Pensions” to navigate
    • CETV’s not provided to the member within the statutory 3 months
    • Inability to get the information the adviser needed

Most BSPS members alive locally to the steelworks where they worked.  This clustering meant that the local IFAs were inundated with requests and took a professional decision to close their books to new DB transfer business rather than dilute their service.

“I’m struggling to believe it. But 5 reputable Financial advisers that have been recommended to me are at capacity. I feel like I’m chasing the last bus that’s accelerating away. Can you please recommend advisors to me that you have faith in?”

Many of the advisers themselves were not aware of all the possible permutations and did not have the rules and financial assumptions for all potential outcomes.  Few have considered all of the options open to the BSPS members.  The major factors for a deferred member considering the choice are:

  • • 10% reduction in PPF before NRA
    • No transfers allowed from PPF
    • Transfers from BSPS2 possible
    • Better early retirement package from PPF (even with -10%)

Members and their IFAs need to compare the relative benefits of all the options available to them:

  • • Transfer out now
    • Transfer from BSPS2 later
    • Early retirement PPF
    • Early retirement BSPS2
    • Retirement at NRA from BSPS2
    • Retirement at NRA from PPF

IFAs tell us they have been hampered by their inability to get the information they need.  Posts on the group refer to not receiving CETVs within 3 months of requesting one or receiving a CETV with an expiry based on sign off several weeks earlier so the member has less than 3 months to take their decision.

“I am in a similar position, requested transfer 9th October, finally got through to someone to be told it was posted 7th November, so it was emailed to me yesterday 4th December, noticed straight away it was dated 3rd November. E mailed them back pointing this out and asking ng how to get it rectified, was told it was my responsibility to chase it up, and the date would stand.”

Financial advisers have regularly private messaged the administrators of the group to ask if we can assist getting information from the Pensions Office.  They informed us that they are told of a standard 6 week turnaround of emails, that they can only ask about one member per email and most were unable to talk to anyone at the pensions office because “they can’t get through by phone”.

The extension of CETV guarantees from 11 December to 26 January was welcomed.  This primarily affected the large number of members whose CETV’s were frozen until the 11 September RAA payment by TSUK.

Pressure to get a CETV before the deadline

On 29 November, members became concerned by a new communication from BSPS stating:

If you are thinking about transferring out your Scheme benefits but have not yet requested a transfer value quotation you should contact the Pensions Office by 11 December 2017 at the very latest. This is to allow time for:
1. Your quote to arrive (up to three months, though we aim to do this in one month)
2. Finding an independent financial adviser and taking their advice
3. Finding and joining a new pension arrangement that can take your transfer
4. You, your financial adviser and the provider of your new pension arrangement completing and returning all the necessary forms to the Pensions Office – by 16 February 2018.
If you complete all these steps by 16 February 2018, we estimate that the Pensions Office will be able to process and pay your transfer instruction by 28 March 2018. However, we can’t guarantee that the Pensions Office will be able to do this. So please give them as much time as possible by completing the steps above as soon as you can.

Questions raised by this included:

  • • Do I lose my right to a CETV after 11 December?
    • Do I lose my right to a 3 month guarantee for my CETV?

BSPS said “If you miss this deadline, you might only be able to take a lower transfer value, or might not be able to transfer out at all.”– We are still unclear if the deadline is 16 February or 28 March.

The deadline for submissions was 28 March according to a letter from the trustee. At the roadshow in Thornaby, Martin Ross, BSPS Technical Manager, requested that members ask their FAs to submit completed paperwork by mid-March 2018 so that the necessary checks could be completed.  This issue of when the deadline is remains unanswered.


Conclusions

The overall conclusion is that members choosing to consider transferring out were put under great pressure to consider an option they had never thought about and many had never considered.

The lack of timely responses led to ineffective use of the 6 month statutory timeframe from requesting a CETV to submission of paperwork to proceed with the transfer.  The Trustee were following FCA guidance given but there appears to be a gap in essential support to the members from the moment they requested a CETV.

Many if not all of the issues could be solved by providing a service which could guide members from consideration of a transfer through to completion.  The lead could be taken by TPAS who have been outstanding in their help and support to our members.  They would need access to the DB Scheme administrators to obtain timely responses to queries.

The £30,000 limit forced DB scheme members to obtain independent financial advice but without a support mechanism for unsophisticated investors with large pension pots.  The BSPS bulk transfer is unusual, but not unique, and members of many other schemes would benefit from a service which helped them create a personalised plan.

In recent weeks we have had many pensions experts volunteering their support to our members.  In particular, many of the members in the Port Talbot area are grateful to Henry Tapper and  Alastair Rush for their face-to-face counselling and review of member’s transfers.

If the Trustees were required to provide access to independent counselling and guidance with help from UK agencies and a panel of suitable advisers many of the members would have a single point of contact for the comprehensive support they required.

Many members also thought they were protected by a final check of the suitability of the transfer by the BSPS Pensions Office.  It is understandable why this is not the case, at the present time, but it is also easy to see how an unprincipled regulated FA could take advantage of this.

In the past fortnight, many of our members have seen the media reports on Celtic Wealth/Active Wealth (UK).  We immediately followed this up by talking to the FCA and reviewing the additional requirement on the Active Wealth (UK) Ltd entry on the FCA web site.  To date, many members are unaware of any actions taken on their behalf by the FCA. The letter, which should have been given to review by the FCA on 27 November, has not been seen by any members.

In addition, we talked to Stewart Davies at Momentum Pensions and were able to provide a list of actions being taken by them to protect the members funds while they awaited the outcome of the third party IFA reviews.  These same points were sent by email to affected members the same day.  We were unable to get statements from the other companies involved.

Posts on a group set up by Alastair Rush for the Port Talbot members affected include all the negative emotions:

  • • Sadness (depression, despair, hopelessness)
    • Anxiety (fear, worry, concern, nervous, panic, etc.)
    • Anger (irritation, frustration, annoyance, rage)
    • Guilt from those who referred their colleagues
    • Shame/Embarrassment

As the members have had little information from other sources they are reliant upon telephoning the firms involved to understand what they should do:

“I have just spoken to Liam of Celtic Wealth and he has explained the facts of this issue to me and I’m still happy that I went with Celtic/ Active. I advise anyone with concerns to contact him or Clive. From what I see this is just a case of sour grapes, greediness and scaremongering.”

The FCA and TPAS have helped callers by explaining the purpose of the voluntary requirement but are unable to answer their most important questions:

  • • Is my money safe?  Will I lose money?
    • When can I get my money back?  Will this be over soon?
    • When will I get a letter from Active Wealth (UK) Ltd
    • When will my transfer be reviewed?

We hope that the CHIVE initiative will be able to give counselling to affected members, (and any other members) concerned about the suitability of their transfers).  We hope the members will get immediate clarity on the suitability of their investments and advice on actions they can take to prepare for all outcomes.  Many members now fear that their pension pot is at risk from high charges and exit fees.  Unfortunately, the early indications are that their fears are justified.perf 2


Addendum;

Automated response to emails to the BSPS Pensions Office:

From: Pension Enquiries <pension.enquiries@tatasteel.com>
Subject: Automatic reply:
Date:
To:

Thank you for contacting the British Steel Pensions Office. We have received your email but we’re sorry that we won’t be able to reply as quickly as we usually would. Please bear with us.

Because of the change to the pension scheme, we are receiving a very large number of enquiries from members. We are working as hard as we can to respond to each one quickly and accurately. We are dealing with each enquiry strictly in the order it arrived and cannot move anyone’s enquiry to the top of the queue.

If you are asking about the option pack sent to you in October, we cannot reply. Instead, we have set up two free, impartial helplines to answer all your questions:

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

If you are waiting to get a Transfer Value quote that you’ve asked for, we will get this to you no later than three months after your request. We are working hard to get these quotes to members sooner than that if we can. To help us focus our time on providing quotes, we won’t reply to emails that are chasing up quotes, unless it’s less than a week before the three month deadline.

If you are asking about a payment that you are expecting for early retirement or a transfer, please bear with us – we are dealing with all these payments in order. We will tell you when we have paid you. If we need any information from you, we will contact you.

Are you are contacting us about something else?
For example:
– change of details
– to tell us about a death
– to ask for a Transfer Value or early retirement quote

If so, please check that your email includes your:
– full name
– date of birth
– National Insurance number
If it doesn’t, we won’t be able to deal with your enquiry.

Once again, we are sorry to keep you waiting, and appreciate your patience.

stefan

 

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen, Director of First Actuarial, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
This entry was posted in BSPS, pensions and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Steelworkers submission to parliament

  1. alan chaplin says:

    I know this is just one side of the story but the trustees seem to have failed in looking after the beneficiaries. Would be interested to here their side.

    Liked by 1 person

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