HC Deb 13 November 2001 vol 374 c700W
Jeff Ennis

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) by what means he will ensure that smaller companies provide stakeholder pensions to their employees; [10436]

(2) how many companies with 50 or fewer workers have registered to provide stakeholder pensions. [10382]

Mr. McCartney

Employers are required to provide employees with access to a stakeholder pension scheme. Employers are not themselves required to set up a pension scheme or to contribute to it.

Regulation of compliance with the requirement for employers to designate a stakeholder pension scheme for their employees will be undertaken by the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority (Opra).

The number of employees in companies that have designated stakeholder pensions schemes for their staff is not available. However, figures from the Association of British Insurers show that the end of September this year, 212,242 employers of all sizes had designated stakeholder pension schemes for their workforces.

Mr. Boswell

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and. Pensions what action he is taking to improve access to free or low-cost advice to those intending to take out stakeholder pensions. [13901]

Mr. McCartney

Stakeholder pensions are designed to be simple. Many pension providers currently offer basic advice within the 1 per cent. annual management charge cap for stakeholder pensions. Additionally, the Financial Services Authority has produced decision trees to assist consumers.

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