Employers will be able to visit a website to see if they
need to offer stakeholder pensions to their staff.
They will be asked to answer “yes” or “no” online to a
series of simple questions and will then be able to see if they are exempt from
having to offer access to a stakeholder pension.
The website has been set up by the Occupational Pensions
Regulatory Authority which was established by the Government to make sure
occupational pension schemes are safe and well run.
Stakeholder pensions become available from April 6 and are
intended to provide a low cost privately funded supplement to basic state
The Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999 requires employers
to offer their relevant employees access to stakeholder pensions scheme unless
they are exempt.
Details of who is exempt are set out in the Stakeholder
Pension Scheme Regulations 2000.
If employers who are not exempt do not provide access to the
scheme by October 8, Opra has the power to fine them up to £50,000.
By Richard Staines