HC Deb 08 July 2003 vol 408 cc762-3W
Mr. Webb

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the number of companies which, under the regulations introduced on 8 October 2001,(a) are obliged to provide and (b) have so far failed to offer access to a stakeholder scheme; and what plans he has to ensure that employers who have not complied with the requirement to offer a stakeholder scheme do so. [123323]

Malcolm Wicks

We estimate that around 350,000 employers are required to provide their staff with access to a stakeholder pension scheme. Latest data from the Association of British Insurers show that 344,983 employers had designated a stakeholder pension scheme by the end of March 2003. This indicates a compliance rate in excess of 90 per cent.

The Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority (OPRA) is responsible for regulating compliance with the workplace access requirements for stakeholder pension schemes. OPRA follows up all reports to it of non-compliance and will take action where compliance has not been achieved. OPRA also takes action to seek out non-compliance through surveys of employers, and by following up any employers that it knows, through its general pension duties, have closed down their company scheme and may therefore become required to offer staff access to a stakeholder pension scheme.

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