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New Guide to Stakeholders Pensions to help UK employers

The Department of Social Security announced on 19 September 2000 that employers are being sent a new guide on stakeholder pensions. Employers with 5 or more employees should receive the guide along with the Employer Bulletin from the Inland Revenue.

Stakeholder Pensions - a guide for employers tells employers in plain English how they are affected and what they will need to do to meet the requirements of the Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999 regarding stakeholder pensions. It explains exactly what stakeholder pensions are and which employers are obliged to offer them to their employees. Employers do not have to set up stakeholder pensions schemes for themselves - they can choose schemes from pension providers. But they will have to manage payroll deductions.

Social Security Secretary Alistair Darling said that:

"It is in everyone's interests to get as many people as possible to save for their retirement. And stakeholder pensions will be a major step towards that. We are publishing this guide to help employers by giving them early notice of all they need to know."

Stakeholder pensions will give millions of British workers their first opportunity to save for a second pension at a reasonable cost. and contribute to a stakeholder pension.

The final deadline for compliance for non-exempt employers is 8 October 2001 but they can provide access for their workers from April 2001.

More details

* The scheme is outlined in the Stakeholder Pension Schemes Regulations 2000.

* Stakeholder pension schemes will be available from 6 April 2001. Contributions can start from that date.

* Exempt employers are those who:

- have fewer than five employees (but they can voluntarily offer access to stakeholder schemes;

- companies that already offer all their employees the opportunity to join an occupational pension scheme or a personal pension scheme (provided certain conditions are met).

* Employers can contact the Inland Revenue Employers Helpline (0845 7 143 143), Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 5pm, for any further queries about providing access to a stakeholder scheme.

* Copies of Stakeholder Pensions - a guide for employers are being sent out to employers but copies are also available from the Employers' Orderline on 0845 7 646 646 or on the web at


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