UK - The NAPF has set up a working group in a bid to boost pension provision among smaller employers through multi-employer pension schemes.
The group will work towards identifying and overcoming obstacles to the development of multi-employer schemes, particularly in respect of the current tax regime.
It will look to promote multi-employer schemes through practical help, such as reducing the administration burden in setting up a scheme.
The group will be chaired by Richard Stroud of The Pensions Trust. He will be joined by former APL chairman Robert West, Rosemary Mounce of the USS pension scheme and NAPF chief executive Christine Farnish, among others.
It is hoped that the group’s work will feed into the Inland Revenue’s current review of pensions taxation.
NAPF chief executive Christine Farnish said: “Multi-employer schemes take the hassle and cost of running individual schemes away from employers, and, with the right tax regime, could offer a new pension option for Britain’s thousands of small and medium-sized firms.”
The first meeting is to be held on Friday June 9.
Meanwhile, the Confederation of British Industry has urged the government to embark on a multi-million pound drive to help small firms offer pensions to its workers.
Among its proposals are start-up assistance for multi-employer schemes in a bid to reduce pension admin costs.
CBI deputy director general John Cridland said: “Pensions provision will always be beyond the scope of the smallest firms, but many want to play their part in providing employees with a secure retirement.
“They often can’t because the costs are more than the business can afford.”
But the Federation of Small Businesses national pensions spokesman Terence O’Halloran slammed the NAPF as “far removed” from the small business sector and attacked the CBI for wanting to spend more money on “promoting schemes that will not work”.
He added: “For the CBI to say that the government has to spend more money that it doesn’t have on promoting pension schemes that people will not pick up is folly.”
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