UK - Emergency talks over the National Association of Pension Funds' multi-employer scheme plans will be held with the government later this month.
The NAPF says crucial details are needed to ensure its plans can go ahead by the new simplification date – A-Day – in 2006.
A working party – chaired by The Pensions Trust chief executive Richard Stroud (pictured) – will meet with representatives from the department for work and pensions on April 21 to learn how new reforms will affect the scheme.
In particular, it aims to learn how Pensions Protection Fund premiums will be calculated as well as the implications if an employer opts out of the fund or a scheme winds up in deficit.
Stroud says without this information the scheme – hailed as the saviour of declining pension savings and occupational scheme provision among small-to-medium non-associated employers – will be untenable before April 2006.
Stroud – who will attend the meeting along with NAPF chief executive Christine Farnish, Baker & McKenzie associate Robin Simmons and former Association of Pensions Lawyers’ chairman Robert West – said it was imperative the DWP took on board the NAPF’s concerns.
He said: “If we cannot get something workable from the DWP, we cannot get multi-employer schemes off the ground.
“Until we know exactly how elements such as the PPF work, we cannot move forward, which would be a great shame for the industry.”
A DWP spokeswoman said: “We are happy to work with the NAPF over the issue of multi-employer schemes and we have been doing over the past year.”
Once operational, the scheme – first announced in May last year – will provide a template for multi-employer scheme provision.
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