A legal challenge has been made against our decision to set up a redress scheme for former British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) members.
The challenge has been made by a number of pension advisory firms who are members of the British Steel Adviser Group and advised by FS Law (also known as FS Legal Solicitors LLP).
We are confident that our decision to set up a redress scheme is appropriate and will vigorously defend it. In making our decision we considered extensive stakeholder feedback from the consultation process.
We regard the legal challenge as an attempt to delay the payment of redress that is due to some former BSPS members.
If the legal action causes scheme timings to change we will let former BSPS members, firms and stakeholders know. In the meantime, firms should continue to prepare for the implementation of the scheme.
Our redress scheme means firms must review the advice given to BSPS members even if the time limits for making a complaint run out after the scheme starts.
We are confident that our decision to implement a scheme will ultimately be upheld. However, in what we consider to be an unlikely outcome, if the scheme is cancelled the usual time limits for complaining and referring complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service will apply. This risks former BSPS members who think they may have received poor advice to transfer out in 2016 or early 2017 being timed out from making a complaint.
As a result, former BSPS members who received advice before 30 April 2017 should complain now and refer their complaint to the Financial Ombudsman if they are unhappy with the firm's response. If former BSPS members have already complained and are unhappy with firm’s response, they should refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman within 6 months of the date of the response to ensure that they are not timed out if the scheme is cancelled.