Pensions Guide | Pensions Help Product Information | Where Can I Get a Stakeholder Pension?

You can get stakeholder pensions from financial services companies such as insurance companies, banks, investment companies and building societies. Other organisations such as trade unions may also offer stakeholder schemes to their members. You can approach a stakeholder pension scheme provider direct about starting to contribute to a stakeholder pension.

If you are employed, your employer must provide you with access to a stakeholder pension scheme, unless they are exempt. Employers are exempt if they:

  • Have fewer than five employees; or
  • offer an occupational pension scheme for all their employees to join within one year of them starting work.

Employers may also be exempt if they offer to contribute at least three per cent of earnings into another form of non-state pension for their employees, as long as the pension does not have penalties for employees who leave the scheme.

Employers do not have to provide you with access to a stakeholder pension if you are earning below a certain level (the ‘lower earnings limit’). For more information about the lower earnings limit, please contact your local tax office (details are in your local phone book).

During 2003 and 2004, the government will review the exemptions for small firms that have fewer than five employees. They will also review the exemptions for employers who offer a three per cent contribution to a private pension scheme.

Providing access means that your employer will have to choose a scheme that you can join if you want to. Employers offering access to a stakeholder pension must give you information about the scheme they have chosen, and give you the option to have your own pension contribution deducted direct from your pay.