News update – Age law spurs Portman rethink

Portman Building Society is reviewing contributions to its stakeholder pension scheme ahead of incoming age discrimination laws.

An insider who recently quit the building society’s human resources department said discussions with pension scheme advisers had revealed that age-based contribution limits within the stakeholder plan could contravene the terms of the Age Discrimination Act, which comes into effect in October.

"With the stakeholder scheme there is a little bit of a query," she said. "Certain ages can put in more."

Portman Building Society currently matches staff contributions to the stakeholder pension and adds 1%. The building society also has some final salary provision. According to Portman’s latest interim financial results, published in 2005, the group’s retirement benefit funds were included as a £15.8m liability. Portman Building Society refused to comment further.