British Steel pensioners in Scunthorpe face 'extremely difficult choice' over pensions
By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 12 Sep 2017
The estimated 20,000 stake-holders in North Lincolnshire in the British Steel Pension Fund) (BSPS) were today warned they face “an extremely difficult choice” in deciding how to protect their investments.
The warning from the National Trade Union Steel Co-ordinating Committee came after an arrangement known as Regulated
Apportionment (RAA) was confirmed between the Pensions Regulator and Tata Steel UK, the former owners of the Scunthorpe works.
The deal means local pensioners will from next March have a choice of transferring their savings to a new scheme or retaining their money with the Pension Protection Fund – but both moves come at a cost.
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In a joint statement today the trade unions said: "We do not celebrate the confirmation of the RAA, but under the circumstances this represents the best outcome for members of the BSPS.
“All of the experts, and the independent Pensions Regulator, have concluded that had the scheme not been separated it would have meant the inevitable insolvency of Tata Steel UK and the PPF for all members.
“Members will now be able to choose whether they want to keep their pension in the BSPS, and so receive PPF compensation, or transfer their pension to a new scheme with the same benefits as the BSPS but with reduced annual increases.
"This will be an extremely difficult choice for many people and it is vital that every member receives the support they need to make the right decision for them and their families.
“Now the RAA has been confirmed the company and trustees need to start communicating and deliver all the information necessary to enable members to make a properly informed choice. We would urge members to engage in the forthcoming consultations and roadshows."
Meetings are planned in Scunthorpe next month to discuss the future of the BSPS which is reported have assets in excess of £14 billion, but could face a short-fall in funds in meeting its long-term liabilities to 130,000 members.
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