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EDITIONS
Monday, 26 March, 2001, 07:58 GMT 08:58 UK
Case study: A budding stakeholder
Shilpa Ganatra outside Clickmusic's offices in west London
Shilpa isn't expecting the state to provide for her retirement
Shilpa Ganatra, 22, might be the kind of person the government had in mind when it drew up plans for stakeholder pensions.

A recent graduate, she works as a channel editor at Clickmusic, a dot.com based in west London, and earns 17,000 a year.

I wouldn't feel comfortable relying totally on the state

Shilpa Ganatra

She hasn't yet made any arrangements for a pension and her company, which employs about 20 people, doesn't have its own scheme.

But she would like to start saving soon, even if it was relatively small amounts.

Not expecting much

When BBC News Online spoke to Shilpa in March 2001 she hadn't heard of stakeholder pensions and didn't know that her company, like hundreds of thousands of others in the UK, will have to give its employees access to a pension scheme by October this year.

In that, she is far from alone.


It's really difficult to put extra money aside but it's something that has to be done

Shilpa Ganatra
But, unlike many others, she was conscious of the need to start a pension early in her working life.

"I'm definitely thinking about it," she said.

"I wouldn't feel comfortable relying totally on the state.

"No one expects much of a state pension now."

Flexibility

She says a stakeholder pension - which would allow her to make modest contributions and stop and start them as she wished - sounds like something she might like.

"It's good it offers such flexibility," she says.

"Living in London, it's really difficult to put extra money aside but it's something that has to be done."

Shilpa also said she was more trusting of a pension scheme that was government designed and recommended than any left entirely in the hands of the companies that would provide them.

She remembers the pensions mis-selling scandal of the 1990s and also admits to being slightly bewildered by the great number of existing personal pensions on offer.

"It seems it's quite easy to get ripped off," she says.

With this in mind, the transparency and low management charges associated with stakeholder pensions should be appealing.

In her own hands

Although Shilpa is happy in her current job and has no plans to leave Clickmusic, she is conscious that few people today remain in the same job throughout their working lives.

Even if she joined company pension plans offered by any future employers, she might not get full value from them unless she stayed a long time.

For this reason, she is keen to have her own extra pension plan which she could take with her if she changed jobs.

"I'd prefer to take things into my own hands," she says.



Business view

Pensions background

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