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British Steel member communication review findings set for autumn

The Pensions Regulator’s review into the British Steel Pension Scheme’s communication with members will make a number of recommendations in a forthcoming report.

Money Marketing can confirm the review led by former Money Advice Service boss chief executive Caroline Rookes will produce a report this autumn.

It will include a number of recommendations on how TPR can work with trustees and other industry bodies to protect members.

Rookes, who left MAS in April, was asked by TPR 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 BSPS, 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.

A TPR spokesman says: “Work on the report is progressing well. Caroline has engaged widely with a range of stakeholders.

“She has gathered feedback from those who transferred into the new BSPS or moved with the original scheme to the PPF as well as holding focus groups with former steelworkers who transferred out into DC schemes.

“Later in the autumn we intend to publish the report, which will include a number of recommendations on how we can work with trustees and other industry bodies to protect members.”

TPR also plans to publish a response different to the report showing how it will take forward the report’s recommendations but cannot give a date when this response will be published.

The spokesman adds: “We plan to publish a response setting out what action we intend to take with our partners to help members in restructuring situations make better-informed decisions about their retirement savings.”

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