New helpline for stakeholder pensions

The helpline will be run by OPAS – the Pensions Advisory Service – and funded by the Department of Social Security and the Financial Services Authority. It will offer information and clarification to people who have seen the government’s stakeholder pensions guide and the FSA’s decision trees.

Social Security secretary Alistair Darling said: ‘It is vital that we now work with the pensions industry, employers and others to boost people’s awareness of pensions in general and stakeholder pensions in particular.

‘This helpline will play a key role in this education campaign. It will operate alongside a major advertising campaign starting in the new year.’

The number of the new helpline, which uses a local call rate, will be published in a new guide to stakeholder pensions in October.

The government hopes the helpline will cover:

  • how stakeholder schemes must operate and the rights of members;
  • what their employer may be required to do;
  • the relationship between stakeholders and existing pensionarrangements.

The line will not provide specific financial advice and will not market stakeholder pensions or schemes.

Rules on stakeholder pensions changed

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