The former chief executive of the Money Advice Service will lead a review into British Steel Pension Scheme’s communication with members about the choice to stay in a workplace pension scheme or transfer out.
Caroline Rookes, who left MAS in April, has been asked by The Pensions Regulator chief executive Lesley Titcomb to look into the “time to choose” exercise that ran from October 2017 until January 2018.
The old scheme’s roughly 130,000 members were asked to decide if they wanted to stay in the old British Steel Pension Scheme, which entered the Pension Protection Fund in March, move into a new workplace plan or transfer out.
The current review stems from the work and pensions select committee report on BSPS that recommended TPR conduct a review of communication around time to choose.
In May, TPR admitted it could have done more to help BSPS members understand the consequences of transferring out into defined contribution plans.
The regulator expects the review to be published this summer and says it is already working closely with the FCA and The Pensions Advisory Service.
The work is to provide an increased level of support to trustees and scheme members where there is uncertainty around the future of a DB pension scheme.
This includes providing letters for trustees to send members alerting them to the risks of transferring and giving practical information.
A TPR spokesman says: “We want to understand more about how members [at British Steel] were supported and the information they were given so we can produce information and support for trustees facing similar situations in future.
“Our primary concern is that DB scheme members requesting a cash equivalent transfer value have all the information they need to make an informed decision about what is in their best interests.
“This includes understanding the fees that are charged under any new pension arrangement as these can make a significant difference to the value of the fund.”