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Simpler is better for stakeholder pensions, say B&CE

27 February 2004
B&CE has seen a huge increase in uptake of its stakeholder pension scheme after it simplified it.

B&CE, the largest provider of employee benefits for the construction industry, has found allowing employees to automatically enrol or "opt out" of the firm's stakeholder pension has boosted its membership by 45 per cent in a year.

The B&CE EasyBuild scheme currently has more than 275,000 policies - making it the most popular stakeholder pension scheme in the UK. In excess of 37,000 people make regular contributions.

Until February 2003 nearly 85 per cent of new members did not fill in the form or, signed and returned the cancellation form by mistake.

After talking to the Inland Revenue, B&CE got rid of the need for the form to be signed. Operatives now become members of the scheme automatically and receive employer contributions without having to complete an application form.

John Jory, deputy chief executive of B&CE Benefit Schemes, said: "Simplification of the rules has helped immensely. Before we made the change the average number joining the scheme was 1,000 per month and now it has risen to over 3,000.

But he added: "There is still more to be done to make stakeholder even more accessible."