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Govt urged to curb stakeholder ignorance

Pressure is mounting on the Government to spend more cash on stakeholder education following the revelation that many small businesses remain ignorant of their new obligations.

The quarterly Finance Line survey from marketing information specialist Taylor Nelson Sofres shows that more than two-thirds of businesses with turnover between £250,000 and £1m are unaware of their duty to provide employees with access to a pension scheme under the stakeholder regime.

The July 2000 survey questioned 981 individuals responsible for financial matters in companies with turnover of up to £1m in England and Wales.

It also questioned 281 small companies with incomes of up to £50,000, which revealed that only three out of 10 are aware of their obligations.

The Government has set aside £5m for its stakeholder awareness campaign which kicks off this autumn. The latest findings suggest this figure may not be enough.

TNS Finance director Tim Wragg says: “Clearly, the Government needs to do a lot more work in the next few months to communicate to small businesses the implications of statutory employee access to pensions.

“While this message may be currently getting lost in the clutter of other legislative changes, thousands of small businesses may still be unaware of their legal obligations next year unless the Government invests more resources in a targeted information campaign now.”

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