Few join pension schemes

26 March 2004
Employees have been decidedly slow to take up stakeholder pension schemes, according to government research.

The study, undertaken by the Department of Work and Pensions, claims that three-quarters of companies offering stakeholder pensions have yet to accrue any members.

However, a spokeswoman for the department said in relation to the limited uptake of stakeholder pensions: "The government always said it would take time to change people's savings habits.

"Getting pension schemes established that can be accessed through the workplace was a very important first step."

A possible explanation for the slow uptake is provided in another survey published today, conducted in conjunction by Tiscali.co.uk and the TUC, which shows that two-thirds of employees did not know their rights regarding stakeholder pensions.

Richard Ayers, editor of Tiscali.co.uk, told the Guardian: "Employers are responsible for giving information about stakeholder pensions to every employee who has been in the company more than three months.

"If nearly two-thirds don't know about it then it implies that many companies are not fulfilling their obligations."