Stakeholder pensions mean windfall for Government

The Government is likely to receive huge amounts of
money from UK companies that fail to set up stakeholder pensions for staff by
the October deadline, according to new research.

All companies employing five or more staff who do not
already have a qualifying workplace pension scheme have to consult their staff
and set up a stakeholder scheme by 8 October or face a fine by pension
regulators of up to £50,000.

New research by pensions company Virgin Direct shows
that while 88 per cent are aware of the deadline, 11 per cent of businesses
aware of the stakeholder requirements plan to leave it to the last minute.

The research also shows that just 42 per cent of
firms have already set up a scheme and 66 per cent are yet to consult with
staff over the choice of stakeholder schemes.

Small to medium sized companies are the least ready
with 22 per cent planning to leave it to the last minute and only 29 per cent
having a scheme already set up.

Gordon Maw, Virgin Direct’s marketing manager said,
“With just eight weeks to go, the clock is very much ticking now for employers
and our research shows there is a hardcore who intend to leave it all to the
last minute, particularly in the small business sector. Unfortunately, they may
well find it difficult to actually get a scheme set up in time and could get
clobbered with a hefty fine as a result.”

By Katie Hawkins

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