UK - Five employers are set to join the National Association of Pension Funds' multi-employer scheme which will be launched later this year.
The scheme – which is being developed jointly by the NAPF and Newcastle-based law firm Ward Hadaway – was due to be launched during the third quarter of 2003.
But it was postponed because the two parties wanted to determine what impact the government’s June 11 action plan and proposed tax reforms would have on it.
Ward Hadaway head of pensions law David Knox said that progress had been made and he expected the scheme to be launched later this year.
He added discussions were taking place with five firms about joining the scheme and it was looking to identify suitable actuarial, IT and audit services providers. The Pensions Trust will provide administration services to the scheme for the first two years, after which a third-party contractor will be appointed.
Knox said: “It all depends on the suitability of the design, but once we have a head of steam with employers and have demonstrated that it works, I anticipate being able to choose from employers that want to join the scheme.”
NAPF chairman Terry Faulkner (pictured), though, was far more cautious and said it would be “more appropriate” to launch the multi-employer scheme in 2005, after details of the Pensions Bill had been digested.
Hammonds senior solicitor Emma King said: “The NAPF should be applauded in this project, which if successful, should make occupational pension schemes more accessible.
“However, there are difficulties in establishing such multi-employer schemes, not least of which is the question of who will bear the levy due to the PPF.”
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