If your transfer quote was due to expire between 1 December 2017 and 25 January 2018, we’ve extended it so it lasts until 26 January 2018. We can’t extend your quote any further.
The deadline for returning option forms was 22 December 2017, so the time for choosing what happens to your British Steel pension is now over. If you returned an option form before 22 December, you should have received a confirmation letter. If you returned your form by then but you haven’t heard from us, please call the helpline on 0800 085 7264 (or +44 (0) 113 823 1344 if you’re calling from outside the UK). See below for what happens next, and answers to questions you might have.
Thank you to everyone who has taken part in the Time to Choose exercise. 13,000 members came to our meetings around the country. 32,000 members have visited this website. And the large majority of our 125,000 members have sent back their option form.
News for members thinking about transferring out
‘Transferring out’ only applies to members who are not yet taking their pension and are more than a year under their normal retirement age (usually 65). Other members cannot transfer out.
If you haven’t asked us for a transfer value quote already, you won’t be able to transfer out of the current scheme.
If you had a current transfer quote that is due to expire between 1 December 2017 and 25 January 2018, we extended it so it lasts until 26 January 2018. We wrote to members who were affected by this.
If you are still thinking about taking a transfer and the transfer value quote is more than £30,000, remember that you must obtain advice from a suitable Independent Financial Adviser before making your decision (see ‘Where can I get financial advice’ in the Questions and Answers section). If you then decide to proceed with a transfer, all your transfer forms need to reach the Pensions Office before the expiry date of your quote and by no later than 16 February. This is the case even if your expiry date is after 16 February.
This should mean we then have enough time to process your forms in time for you to transfer out of the current scheme. However, we cannot give you any guarantees that this will enable us to do this, especially in view of the volume of transfer requests received. So please give us as much time as possible by completing and returning all your transfer documentation as soon as you can.
We will work through transfers in order. We can only make payment once we receive all the completed paperwork for them. So even if you have made a request some time ago, we could be waiting for documentation from your new pension provider or financial adviser.
We have set up a dedicated hotline at the Pensions Office, just for transfer enquiries, and have recently brought in more extra staff to operate it. You can contact this Transfer Helpline on 0330 440 0850 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please help us to work efficiently by only calling when necessary – for example if you have some information that we have asked for. If you are seeking an update please only do so if you have already confirmed with your new pension provider and financial adviser that they have sent us the information set out in our transfer quote letter. Dealing with unnecessary calls will not only delay your transfer but those of other members.
If you follow the transfer out process according to the timetable and transfer out of the current scheme, that will override your choice on your option form. That’s because you will have transferred out before the scheme changes on 29 March. If for any reason you don’t transfer out, then your pension will follow your choice on your option form. If we didn’t receive a valid option form from you, your pension will move with the current scheme into the Pension Protection Fund. See the Questions and Answers section for more details, and the timetable for transferring out.
If you are eligible to transfer out and you have chosen to switch to the new scheme, you will have the option to transfer out of that scheme after 29 March 2018. Remember, transfers out of the new scheme will reflect the benefits payable from that scheme.
If you have already asked for a transfer value quote and you have questions about what happens next, see the Questions and Answers section.
What happens next
We’ll write to every member in January. Your letter will show whether you chose to switch to the new scheme or will be moving with the current scheme into the Pension Protection Fund. Your letter will also give you more information about what happens next.
The new scheme will have to meet certain conditions before it can go ahead. For example, it will need to be sufficiently well-funded. We’re confident it will meet those conditions.
What if you haven’t had a confirmation letter yet
When we receive your completed option form, we’ll send you a confirmation letter to let you know. We aim to do this in no more than 10 working days. If you sent in your option form close to the deadline, your confirmation letter might take a bit longer, because of the Christmas post. Once you’ve got this letter, you don’t have to do anything else.
What happens if you missed the deadline
If you posted your option form by 22 December, and we receive it safely, we will record your choice. For the small number of members who received an option pack after 11 December, we appreciate you haven’t had much time. For members in this situation only, there is a small extension – we need to receive your form by 12 January 2018. Other members cannot have an extension for any reason. It’s also now too late to change your mind about your choice.
If you miss your deadline, you will move with the current scheme into the Pension Protection Fund. This will start on 29 March 2018. You’ll get more information before then. There’s more about the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) in our Questions and Answers, and on the PPF’s website.
Our helpline was due to close on 22 December, but we know some members still have questions, so we’ve extended it.
We will write to you in January about what’s happening next. But if you have an urgent question about your situation, please check the questions above first. If the answer isn’t there, please phone our helpline.
There’s now one helpline number for everyone. Phone 0800 085 7264 (or +44 (0) 113 823 1344 if you’re calling from outside the UK). 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday (not bank holidays).
If you have a general question about pensions or getting advice about transferring out, you can call the Pensions Advisory Service. They are on 020 7932 9522, 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday (not bank holidays or 27 December).
If you have started the transfer out process and have a question about what happens next, please see our Questions and Answers section about transferring out.
Are you a non-pensioner looking at transferring out of the current scheme? Watch out for unauthorised advisers or scammers who could try and con you out of your pension. See ‘Do I need to watch out for scams?’ in the transferring out section of our Questions and Answers. If you’re already receiving a pension, or are at least 64 years old, this doesn’t apply to you, because you can’t transfer out.
In October and November 2017 we held meetings around the country, to talk to members about their options, and to answer their questions. 13,000 members came to these meetings. You can watch a video of one of these meetings.
Questions members have asked us – and our answers. Now that the deadline for choosing your option has passed, some of these questions are not relevant any more. But many of the others could still be useful, so we have left them all available to read.
Newsletters, videos and other information.
Your benefits under the current British Steel Pension Scheme are governed by its trust deed and rules. If you switch to the New British Steel Pension Scheme, your benefits will be governed by its trust deed and rules. If you move to the Pension Protection Fund, your benefits will be governed by the law that relates to the PPF. Your personal information pack and this website only summarise the main information about choosing your option.