FOS upholds 58% of completed BSPS complaints

Writes Sophie King

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has upheld 58% of the British Steel-related complaints it has so far completed.

According to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request submitted by Professional Adviser, the FOS has currently resolved 69 complaints relating to the British Steel Pensions Scheme (BSPS).

Of those 69 cases, 56 were resolved informally by investigators and 13 through final decisions issued by ombudsmen. At the moment, the FOS is looking into a total of 319 BSPS cases. These complaints involve advice to transfer out of the defined benefit (DB) scheme and issues with administration support. 

The FOS also said it has closed and transferred 135 cases to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

About 8,000 steelworkers transferred out of their final salary pension scheme some four years ago. Last week (29 June), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said it was pro-actively working with ex-BSPS members to encourage them to complain. 

In a submission made by the regulator to a Work and Pensions Committee inquiry, it said: “As a group, our data shows that they received particularly poor advice to transfer with only 21% of advice we reviewed being clearly suitable.”

It said a survey of former members showed a large proportion had not considered complaining. “So, we are now refining our communications strategy to ensure we are reaching these steelworkers in the most impactful way to make them aware that they could be entitled to compensation.”