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Regulators to meet steelworkers as DB transfer advice fears mount

Regulators to meet steelworkers as DB transfer advice fears mount

Regulators will meet with steel workers in Port Talbot on Thursday as public concern about a potential defined benefit (DB) pension transfer advice mis-selling scandal mounts. 

Last night Channel Four News reported on the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS), drawing attention to issues raised by advisers who have visited the region.  

It was the latest coverage of the story in the national media, following similar reports from the BBC, the Times and the Financial Times. All reports have raised concerns about a 'feeding frenzy' of advisers targeting steel workers as their pension scheme closes. 

Alongside the prominent press coverage regulators have also taken action. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) will meet steelworkers in Port Talbot on Thursday afternoon to discuss mis-selling and potential scams. 

Earlier this week the the FCA said three firms had agreed to stop carrying out new pension business in relation to BSPS transfers.

A spokesman for TPR said: 'We are attending the meeting in Port Talbot on Thursday as we feel it is important to talk directly to members of the BSPS about their concerns.

'We will be encouraging members to fully engage in the impartial and helpful communications from the BSPS trustees about making a choice about their pension.

'We also want to warn those who may be considering transferring their pension pot to be wary of scams and deals that sound too good to be true.'

A spokeswoman for the FCA also confirmed it would attend the meeting. New Model Adviser® revealed last month that the regulator asked IFAs to attend seminars on DB transfers in Swansea and Doncaster, near two prominent British Steel sites in Port Talbot and Scunthorpe respectively.

BSPS members have until 22 December to decide whether to move onto the New British Steel Pensions Scheme (BSPS2) or the Pension Protection Fund (PPF). 

Many have secured a cash equivalent transfer value, and the deadline by which to transfer out was recently extended by the scheme trustees to 26 January.

A group of IFAs have visited steelworkers to offer free financial counselling under the #CHIVE initiative set up by Al Rush of Rutland-based Echelon Wealthcare. As New Model Adviser® revealed earlier this month, some of the sessions have uncovered that steel workers were advised to transfer out of their scheme into a fund that charges a 5% exit fee

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