Steel pensions: Stephen Kinnock calls for flexibility

Steel pensions: Stephen Kinnock calls for flexibility
From BBC - December 22, 2017

The UK government must take action to stop thousands of steelworkers being transferred into a pension scheme that offers them fewer benefits, says an MP.

Friday is the deadline over whether or not to join a new pension scheme.

Aberavon MP Stephen Kinnock wants ministers to give pension trustees the flexibility to deal with an estimated 20,000 members who are unlikely to respond in time.

The Department of Work and Pensions is to consider Mr Kinnock's letter.

At the moment, British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) members will automatically go into the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) if they do not ask to move.

The PPF is the safety net where pension schemes go if they are at risk of collapse.

BSPS says it will accept any documents posted on deadline day.

Tata Steel UK has offered to pay 550m into the now-closed pension scheme and give the fund a 33% stake in its UK business, but it will no longer have any responsibility for the pension scheme.

In most cases, the new Tata-backed scheme offers better benefits.

About 8,000 people are employed by the company across England and Wales, including 3,500 in Port Talbot.

Of the 122,000 pension scheme members, the BSPS expects 20,000 to not respond by Friday's deadline and they will automatically go into the PPF.


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