If you are looking for advice on Company Pension Schemes and need to see a specialist independent financial adviser, then we can help. Company Pension Scheme advice available nationwide
Our advisers understand the legal requirements you need to meet as an employer and can help you fulfil your obligations in as simple a way as possible.
As an employer you may have to provide your staff with access to a stakeholder scheme and you should enquire if this is the case.
Access requires that the company should consult with its employees on the choice of a suitable stakeholder scheme provider and then notify all eligible employees of its final selection.
The company does not have to contribute to the scheme but it has to provide a facility whereby contributions will be deducted from your pay and passed over to the scheme.
All employers must provide access to a stakeholder pension scheme unless they are exempt. The conditions for being exempt are as follows:
- There are fewer than 5 people employed. All employees count for this purpose, including part-time and non permanent workers.
- The company offers all employees access to an occupational scheme that they can join within one year of starting work.
- The company operates a personal pension scheme that meets the following conditions:
- it is open to all employees except those who are defined as ‘non-relevant’ (this term is explained below)
- the company contributes at least 3% of basic salary to the personal pension
- the scheme has no penalties for members who stop contributing or who transfer out to a different scheme
- the company deducts the employee’s payments and sends them to the scheme if requested to do so.
- The company has an occupational scheme which is only open to some employees but the rest have access to a personal pension scheme which meets the above conditions.
There are employees to which an employer need not provide access to a stakeholder scheme if he so chooses. These are known as ‘Non-Relevant’ employees who are anyone:
- whose earnings have fallen below the National Insurance lower earnings limit for at least one week in the last three months;
- who has worked for the company for less than three months;
- who is a member of the company’s pension scheme;
- who is not in the company scheme but was free to join it and declined the offer or opted out;
- who is excluded by the rules from joining the scheme because they are under 18 or are within 5 years of the scheme’s normal retirement age;
- who is debarred from joining a stakeholder scheme because of HMRC restrictions (eg the employee does not normally live in the UK).
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