first_img Comments are closed. Employersare at risk from hefty fines because they are ignorant of their legalcommitments under the new stakeholder regulations, according to research.Morethan 60 per cent of companies do not plan to set up a stakeholder pension schemedespite the fact that the regulations come into on 1 April according to a studyby law firm Punter Southall & Co.Thesurvey, which analysed awareness of stakeholder requirements among 250 of thelargest companies in the UK, also found that many respondents were misinformedabout which employees may be eligible for a stakeholder scheme.Just10 per cent of employers said they would be offering a stakeholder scheme totheir contractors and only 23 per cent intended to offer a scheme to theirtemporary staff.Butunder the new regulations both sets of employees may be entitled to membershipof a stakeholder pension even though they are excluded from many existingoccupational schemes.TheWelfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999 requires employers to provide relevantemployees access to stakeholder pensions schemes unless they are exempt.Ifemployers who are not exempt do not provide access to the scheme by 8 October,the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority has the power to fine them up to£50,000.SteveLeake, principal at Punter Southall, said, “It is alarming that such a largeproportion of big business players fails to appreciate or chooses to ignoreeven the most basic legal commitments imposed on them by the new stakeholderregulations.“Stakeholderis not an issue that can be swept under the carpet. Those companies which havenot yet taken serious concerted action to address the new rules must seekprofessional advice immediately. “Ifthey let apathy prevail they can expect to see a stern letter and a hefty finefrom Opra in October when the deadline for implementation expires.”Anew website has been set up by Opra which will show employers if they need tooffer stakeholder pensions to staff.Theywill be asked to answer “yes” or “no” online to a series of simple questionsand will be able to see if they are exempt from having to offer access tostakeholder pensions.Seeour at-a-glance guide to stakeholder pensions at   www.personneltoday.com/lawguides Penalty fear as firms fail to meet pension demandOn 27 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img