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SJP stops advising on British Steel pension transfers

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SJP stops advising on British Steel pension transfers

St James's Place (SJP) has stopped accepting new pension transfer business from British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) members.

It is the latest firm to stop accepting transfer business around the scheme. 

New Model Adviser® has previously revealed that local IFAs have stopped taking new business after being 'overwhelmed' by demand from scheme members.

Now the UK's largest advice business has also decided to stop accepting new business.  

A spokesman for SJP said: 'SJP has decided that we will no longer be accepting new transfer requests from members of the British Steel Pension Scheme.

'However, we will continue to complete those already in the pipeline, where a recommendation to transfer was made by a SJP adviser prior to 8 December.'

SJP told New Model Adviser® the decision to stop accepting new business was a commercial decision.

Tomorrow, the FCA and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) are set to hold a public meeting in Port Talbot for steelworkers. The regulator has previously held workshops on DB transfers for IFAs in Swansea and Doncaster, near the landmark steel sites in Port Talbot and Scunthorpe respectively.

At this morning’s hearing, FCA executive director of supervision Megan Butler revealed a fourth firm had also ceased pensions business.

Three advice firms have been named thus far as ceasing pension transfer business in light of concerns being raised about unsuitable advice given to BSPS members.

Members who have obtained a cash equivalent transfer value, many of which were heightened by Tata's £550 million into the scheme, have until 26 January 2018 to decide whether to transfer out.

The Trustees also extended the 'Time to Choose' deadline to 22 December, when members must decide whether to enter the new British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS2) or the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).

The FCA, BSPS Trustees and steelworkers appeared before the Work and Pensions Select Committee this morning to present evidence on the saga.

A group of IFAs have visited steelworkers to offer free financial counselling under the #CHIVE initiative set up by Al Rush of Rutland-based Echelon Wealthcare. As New Model Adviser® revealed earlier this month, some of the sessions have uncovered that steel workers were advised to transfer out of their scheme into a fund that charges a 5% exit fee.

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