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British Steel transfer complaint details surface

The Pensions Ombudsman is finalising preliminary decisions on three lead cases that will determine how complaints about transfer values related to the British Steel Pension Scheme are handled.

A response to a Freedom of Information Act request published yesterday sheds light on how the Ombudsman’s investigation into British Steel complaints is going.

In February 2018 the Ombudsman said it was investigating more than 150 complaints about transfer values.

It also said it would soon be starting a group investigation into member complaints over early retirement factors.

In the new FOIA request, the Ombudsman reports it has accepted  229 complaints in total for investigation against the BSPS trustee.

Fifty one of these relate to the early retirement factors and 178 relate to transfers.

These are being dealt with as separate groups under lead cases and all include a complaint point about the information, or lack of, provided by the BSPS trustee.

The FOI goes onto say there are three lead cases in respect of the 178 complaints about transfers that have been split depending on the circumstances of the complaints.

Other applicants’ complaints have been placed under the most appropriate lead case as associated cases.

It also says there is one lead case in relation to the 51 complaints about early retirement factors, which include a point about the transfer value provided prior to the members taking early retirement.

It adds: “We are currently in the process of finalising the Ombudsman’s preliminary decisions on the lead cases which will be shared with the applicant of that lead case (and/or the applicants representative of that lead case) and the trustee.

“Once the preliminary decisions are issued we give both parties the opportunity to respond, any comments or evidence provided are considered, further investigation may be required, then if the Ombudsman’s decision is not materially changed the Ombudsman will issue the final determination which will be shared with the associated cases.”

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