The stakeholder pension designation requirements were repealed on 1 October 2012. This means that employers employing five or more employees are no longer required to provide access to a stakeholder pension scheme.
Transitional arrangements require that existing schemes continue for employees who have had at least one contribution deducted from their pay on or before 1 October; however, continuing schemes must meet the conditions for new Qualifying Schemes under section 16 of the Pensions Act 2008.
We do not know why the Government has done this because the repeal of the stakeholder pension requirement is not tied to auto-enrolment, although that will come to all employers during the next five years. The change means that new employers will not have to nominate a pension scheme until they are required to auto-enrol. New employees and existing employees not covered by the transitional arrangements will also no longer have to be given access to a stakeholder pension.
We anticipate most existing stakeholder schemes will satisfy the conditions for new schemes but employers should verify this with their pension providers.