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Opra sings out against stakeholder

The Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority has blasted stakeholder plans for small companies as virtually &#39unworkable&#39.

The regulator fears Government proposals allowing firms with less than five employees not to offer stakeholder will simply prove too difficult to regulate unless new guidelines are introduced.

Opra wants stakeholder plans to be redrafted so firms must only set down the number of staff employed at one point during the year.

Experts fear small firms will have a problem dealing sticking to the rule.

Opra legal director Jennie Kreser says: “We would find it extremely hard to assess when the law had been broken. The law needs to be certain what the situation is otherwise the rule will be unworkable.

“Realistically there will have to be some date every year &#45 this would at least make it easier to regulate. It could be equated to the scheme year.”

Technical Connection pensions marketing manager John Page says: “How many small companies are going to be focused on the number of employees they have got and whether they should offer a stakeholder?

“I suspect many may forget about it and fall foul of the law. Small employees have enough on their plate making sure their business is running properly.”

Last week pensions minister Jeff Rooker unveiled the blueprint for the stakeholder. Two thirds of all firms are expected to be let off the stakeholder hook because they have less than five employees.


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