The British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) has told MPs it has given members enough guidance and information to make informed choices about their pension.
A special evidence hearing was held on 13 December by the Work and Pensions Committee (WPC) in order to probe questionable approaches and unsuitable advice given to members. The hearing was conducted as part of its ongoing pension freedoms inquiry and was prompted by anecdotal evidence that BSPS members have been targeted by scammers.
British steelworkers have until 22 December to decide whether to say in the BSPS and transfer into the PPF, join the new British Steel scheme, or take a lump sum payment, following the scheme's regulated apportionment arrangement in September.
Giving evidence, BSPS trustee chairman Alan Johnson said the scheme's only concern is the benefit of its 130,000 members, and that members have been given enough information.
"I believe there is sufficient information in each letter and information pack we have provided to members for them to make informed choices. We have also set up helplines and the feedback has been positive."
BSPS director of pensions Derek Mullholland added the scheme has set up a separate transfer value hotline aside from the general helpline.
He added in an ideal world, the scheme would have liked to give additional information, but has worked very hard with The Pensions Regulator and the PPF to make sure communications are as good as possible.
"We felt for most people there was enough information in the packs we provided. We ran roadshows, helplines, and FAQs on websites, so we've done everything we possibly could have. There are things we could have done differently though, of course."
Community Trade Union operations director Alistair McDiarmid added: "We've urged members to engage fully, to go to roadshows which have been set up, and use various helplines trustees have set up.
"People have been coming to us for guidance and we're not equipped to do so. We've been careful throughout this process, but we want people to engage."
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