St James’s Place has confirmed it will no long accept new defined benefit pension transfer requests from British Steel members.
At a work and pensions select committee hearing this morning, it was estimated that of the 38,000 British Steel members, 12,200 have applied for a transfer value and more than 2,000 transfers have been made or are in progress.
A SJP spokesman says: “St James’s Place has decided that we will no longer be accepting new transfer requests from members of the British Steel Pension Scheme.
He adds: “However, we will continue to complete those already in the pipeline, where a recommendation to transfer was made by a St James’s Place adviser prior to 8 December.”
DB pension expert Nic Millar posted on Twitter that “this may be an area of concern because it’s left steelworkers in the lurch and it’s a ‘panic transfer’ situation waiting to happen.”
Giving evidence to MPs this morning, First Actuarial director Henry Tapper expressed fears from his visits to British Steel sites that DB transfers had been mostly made into Sipps, including funds where advisers were able to pick up a marketing fee.
A British Steel pension member also speaking at the hearing said that when he had found an adviser to transfer, he was told he could not because their compliance team had closed off to new clients because the firm was over capacity already.
Stefan Zaitschenko, another former steelwork and the co-ordinator of the BSPS Facebook group said: “Many of the IFAs have taken a view they can only deal with a certain amount of clients. The first come first served came in that the people who were there first managed to find the IFAs.”