Thousands of steel workers fear they could miss out on lucrative pension transfers due to a paperwork shambles by the trustees running the scheme.
Steel workers claim that the scheme trustees have lost vital documents and failed to keep up with thousands of requests for pension information.
Time is running out for retirement savers trapped in the doomed British Steel Pension Scheme as their savings are due to be ‘rescued’ by the government’s Pension Protection Fund or moved to BSPS2 – both at reduced rates compared to the current BSPS1 scheme.
Savers were given the alternatives of leaving the scheme or moving to the PPF or BSPS2.
At least 4,500 of the 122,000 members opted for a transfer out.
Moves in jeopardy
But they fear their move is in jeopardy as BSPS1 closes on March 28 and the trustees are more than a month behind in scanning and issuing paperwork, while at least day’s post was lost by BSPS1.
Retired engineer Stefan Zaitschenko, who runs a Facebook group for BSPS members, said: “The pensions staff and trustee doing the best they can, but they are used to dealing with a few hundred transfer requests a year.
“We estimate that around 4,500 people are looking to transfer out, and we are seeing a lot of cases of lost documentation. The BSPS1 is five to six weeks behind in scanning paperwork, so people are not finding out there is anything wrong until significantly after they have submitted their forms.
“The concern is that many of them will fail to achieve their wishes because the delay in administration of their transfer values will push them beyond March 28, the date that BSPS1 ceases to exist.”
Carillion pension crisis
Meanwhile, Parliament’s Work and Pensions Committee has ordered a probe into the way Carillion accountants KPMG handled an audit that included a look into how the company was managing pension contributions.
Scheme trustees claim they warned the company to pay more into the scheme, which is believed to have a black hole of between £500 million and a £1 billion after Carillion collapsed into liquidation.
Westminster claims the company paid shareholders dividends instead of looking after the interests of retirement savers.