Financial litigators at national law firm Clarke Willmott LLP who are seeking compensation for victims of the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) mis-selling scandal have welcomed the results of a poll that says the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) should not be tasked with providing a guaranteed income for those affected.
Almost two-thirds (62 per cent) of respondents to a survey by Pensions Buzz disagreed the PPF should be the body to provide affected steelworkers with a guaranteed income similar to the amount they would have received had they not transferred out of the fund in the 2017 scandal.
The poll follows calls by the Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice Association for BSPS members to be compensated through the PPF.
Damian Pitts, senior associate at Clarke Willmott, who represent more than 1,000 steelworkers, said: “We agree with the view of most of the respondents to the Pension Buzz survey that the PPF should not be the body to compensate affected steelworkers.
“If properly advised, most of the steelworkers would have joined the replacement scheme, BSPS2, rather than remain in their existing pension which was likely at the time to enter the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).
“The benefits steelworkers would receive from BSPS2 are greater (in most circumstances) than the PPF so suggesting those same steelworkers should now be compensated by the PFF would leave the majority of steelworkers undercompensated again.
“In any event, the old BSPS has now exited its PPF assessment period and is working towards a scheme buy-out, so even those steelworkers who should have been advised to remain in the old BSPS would not be adequately compensated by the PPF.”
In the Pension Buzz survey, 25 per cent of pundits agreed the PPF should pay out for victims, while 13 per cent were unsure.
Meanwhile, Clarke Willmott is warning steelworkers eligible to claim compensation to act before time runs out. The period during which steelworkers can claim against bad advice to transfer out of their pension schemes is coming to an end for many this year.
To date, the firm has recovered more than £5 million in compensation for around 1000 steelworkers affected in Teesside, Scunthorpe, Middlesbrough, and South Wales. The firm has put together a dedicated team to help with the cases.
The team provides free initial consultations to discuss transfers, with no obligation.
More than 8,000 steelworkers representing around 18 per cent of eligible members and £2.8 billion of the fund transferred from the old BSPS. Meanwhile 95 per cent of transfers came on the back of financial advice received from a Financial Conduct Authority-regulated firm and prior to the ban on contingent charging.
Clarke Willmott is a national law firm with offices in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Manchester, Southampton, and Taunton.
For more information visit www.clarkewillmott.com