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Regulators warn 14 pension schemes on transfers

The Pensions Regulator (TPR), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) have written to the trustees of 14 pension schemes, providing a joint letter to send to all members who request transfers.

Regulators warn 14 pension schemes on transfers

The Pensions Regulator (TPR), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) have written to the trustees of 14 pension schemes, providing a joint letter to be sent to all members who request transfers.

In June a freedom of information (FOI) request submitted by New Model Adviser®  revealed 12 schemes had been contacted about the possibility of transfers out. This number has now risen to 14, regulators have confirmed.

The letter follows a commitment from TPR to MPs on the work and pensions select committee to improve communications with scheme members on transferring out of defined benefit schemes, amid the fallout from the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) saga.

All 14 schemes have been identified as subject to 'speculation or uncertainty' around their future. 

In a letter to the committee in May, TPR said: 'We are a learning organisation and wrote to the select committee in April in response to its recommendations on the British Steel Pension Scheme setting out that we would review the member communications activity to inform our future guidance and support for trustees.'

It added the action was taking place even before the outcome of a review being run by former chief executive of the Money Advice Service (MAS), Caroline Rookes, which is earmarked for publication later this year. 

'We are not simply awaiting the outcome of the review and have acted on seven occasions, where there may be speculation or uncertainty around a pension scheme’s future, to provide trustees with letters to send to their members, alerting them to the risks of transferring and giving practical information.'

Rookes planned to hold four focus groups with steelworkers who transferred out of the BSPS in Port Talbot. The first of these took place on 20 August, with the second scheduled to take place on 21 August. 

These sessions have been launched with the aim of understanding the experiences of steelworkers' communication with trustees during the critical 'Time to Choose' period of the scheme's closure.  

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