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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Promoting multi-employer pensions

A new initiative to help Britain’s smaller employers offer their staff workplace pensions was announced last month by the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF).

A new working group will investigate ways to encourage multi-employer pension schemes. These schemes give a new option to smaller companies who might find it difficult to offer an occupational pension scheme on their own. The UK currently has few multi-employer schemes, and the new working group aims to promote their development by:

  • identifying obstacles to the development of such schemes, especially through the tax regime;
  • recommending how to remove those obstacles; and
  • identifying ways in which the NAPF can provide practical help in setting up such schemes.

Meanwhile a survey for actuarial consultants Hazell Carr finds that nearly half of the country’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) believe their pension fund is in deficit. It follows Hazell Carr’s survey last year which found that a quarter of companies planned to close or wind up their final salary schemes. This year’s findings show that these schemes continue their decline as nearly half of those questioned (47%) had closed to new members, a further 17% of open schemes intend to close to new members in the next year, and 2% said they will close the scheme to future service.