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Non-pension firms face 150,000 fines

11th October 2001
Page 8
Page 8, 11th October 2001 — Non-pension firms face 150,000 fines
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

• Up to 200,000 small companies could be risking fines of up to £50,000 because they have failed to offer their employees access to a stakeholder pension scheme (CM 13-19 Sept).

Since last Monday, all companies with five or more staff, which don't have a company pension scheme have been obliged to offer staff access to such a scheme through one of many private companies.

One of those firms, the Prudential, estimates that up to half the UK's 400,000 small busi ness have not yet offered access to pensions and are risking a fine. In its survey 40% of workers said their employers had not yet told them about plans for stakeholder pensions.

Eligible companies are required to offer to make deductions from employees' pay packets and pass them on directly to the chosen scheme. Staff are not obliged to join a scheme, nor does the company have to make contributions—companies simply have to offer interested staff access to a stakeholder pension.


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