#10bn pension fine fear.

As many as half of the UK companies that are required to register with a stakeholder pensions provider may have failed to do so resulting in possible fines running into billions of pounds.

The deadline for the registration schemes was Tuesday this week, and any company with five employees or more that failed to meet it risks a fine of up to #50,000.

According to the latest figures from the Association of British Insurers, 25,072 companies registered for the scheme during the month of August, taking the grand total to 121,878.

An ABI spokesman told Accountancy Age that a figure for the end of September was not yet known, but the estimated total number of companies expected to register is between 300,000 and 350,000. As things stand, this would result in total fines of #9bn to #11.5bn being imposed.

Yesterday, the Tories called for a six-month extension to the deadline, saying that as many as 200,000 companies could face a collective fine of #10bn.

Anyone aged under 75 can invest up to #3,600 in a stakeholder pension regardless of earnings.

Eight million people earning under #30,000 a year will be able to contribute to a stakeholder pension and continue to belong to their employer’s defined benefit pension scheme.

The ABI, led by director general Mary Francis, added that stakeholder pensions made a good start in encouraging people to save and said it hoped employers who hadn’t done so would sign up as soon as possible.

Companies risk stakeholder fines

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