Not doing anything will mean your pension is moved into the Pension Protection Fund, which may not necessarily be the best course of action, warns the independent and free experts, The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS).
Out of the 127,000 members some 36,000 have still not registered their preference.
According to TPAS chief executive Michelle Cracknell: “there are a lot of members who have been stunned into inaction because of the complexity of pensions and have not returned their forms”.
Each member has received an options pack with the following options:
- To remain in the current scheme, which will move into the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) on March 29 2018;
- Move to the new British Steel scheme; or
- Transfer to a private pension.
“The best option will depend on whether you are receiving a pension already, the size of your pension, time to retirement and your other pension benefits,” advises Cracknell.
Members are believed to be finding it difficult to understand the booklet that sets out the options and are ignoring it and not returning the forms.
They are also finding it difficult to find reputable advisers who they can rely on to give impartial advice on all of the options.
If an adviser recommends that a member remains in the current scheme or moves to the new British Steel scheme, a fee will be charged whereas a transfer to a private pension could allow the fee to be deducted from the pension pot.
Immediate actions that members of the British Steel pension scheme should take are to:
- Understand the difference between the options;
- Decide whether they want advice on transferring to a private scheme
- Find a suitable adviser; and
- To return their option form by December 11, 2017.
For guidance contact The Pensions Advisory Service: 0300 123 1047, www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk