Firms risk fines for failing staff on stakeholder pensions

Almost half of UK employers are breaking the law by failing to provide staff
with access to a stakeholder pension scheme, and could face fines of up to

This is the conclusion of a survey of more than 1,280 employers and advisers
conducted by City law firm Fox Williams.

The survey revealed that while all of the respondents had five or more
employees – the threshold for provision of access to a stakeholder pension
scheme – only 55 per cent of employers provide some sort of scheme for all or
some of their employees.

Commenting on the findings, Helen Monson, employment specialist at Fox
Williams, said she was surprised at the high number of employers who risk being
penalised for breaching the Stakeholder Pension Schemes Regulations 2000.

"Employers who are in breach of the regulations may not be aware of
their requirements or may simply – and misguidedly, since there is currently no
obligation to contribute to a stakeholder pension scheme, merely to facilitate
access to it – by trying to save costs by not implementing a pension
scheme," she said.

"However, non-compliant employers should note that they may face a
penalty of up to £50,000 for failure to comply with their obligation to provide
access to a stakeholder scheme."

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