If you work for a company that has 5 or more employees, then the company has a legal obligation – if they do not offer an existing pension to their workers – to provide you with access to a stakeholder pension.
Some employers will also throw in their own contribution to the scheme on top of any contributions you make yourself.
Usually, these are called ‘employer-sponsored’ schemes.
The employer is effectively offering you free money here, so it might well be worth taking advantage of, even if you have pension provision elsewhere.
Stakeholder pension scheme
If you do take up a stakeholder pension scheme at work, your employer is legally obliged to supply you with an annual statement of all contributions and the pension’s current value, as well as supply a forecast of what potentially the pension could be worth when you retire. Useful (and probably sobering) information.
Joining a stakeholder pension firm does not disqualify you from the national pension entitlement – it is designed simply to supplement it.
The older you are, the more important it is to keep up your contributions, and to pay in as much as you can afford. Don’t forget that employers, where legally obliged, must offer their staff access to a stakeholder scheme – and they can be fined up to £50,000 if they don’t.
So far, employees nationwide have been slow to take up the advantages of employer stakeholder pension plans, despite effort to promote these schemes.