If you are an employee your employer must provide you with access to a ‘stakeholder’ pension scheme within 3 months of starting your job if:
- they employ 5 or more ‘eligible’ workers (i.e. permanent staff, part-time staff, workers) and
- they do not operate another occupational scheme and/or a personal pension scheme that is open to all relevant employees
Under a stakeholder scheme your Employer does not have to make contributions to your scheme but it has to provide a facility whereby your contributions are deducted from your pay and passed over to the scheme.
From October 2012 the Government’s pension auto-enrollment scheme starts. This means that it is not compulsory for Employers to provide a Stakeholder Pension from this date.
If your Employer does not offer a Stakeholder Pension and they should, you can complain to the Pensions Regulator and they may be fined (click here).
Under new 2008 regulations your Employer has a statutory requirement to consult with members of their pension scheme (and their representatives) before making major changes to future pension arrangements, if they employ 50 or more employees.