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There is concern in the pensions industry that employers have failed to grasp the impact of stakeholder pensions on their businesses. A recent survey by Scottish Equitable showed that only 4% of employers understood the concept of stakeholder. The reality is that the changes being introduced by the Government next year are likely to affect many law firms.While the introduction of stakeholder schemes is still some eight months away (6 April, 2001) and firms have until October 2001 to put arrangements in place, now is the time to start making arrangements for next year. It could take up to three months to audit existing pensions arrangements to determine whether they are stakeholder compliant and, if not, to make the necessary amendments. Selecting a stakeholder provider could take a further three months and another six months might be required for necessary alterations.

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