New findings from a comprehensive study of small and medium enterprise (SME) businesses in England have shown that under a tenth (7%) of SME leaders in the healthcare sector are concerned about their firm's ability to fund future pension contributions, contributing to a grand total of over 43,000 businesses across the country with the same worry.
The latest figures are published today in an international report, Securing the Future, from GE Commercial Finance, the business-to-business financing arm of GE.
With only 35% of UK firms with five or more employees currently providing some form of pension, this new data shows that pension provision, retirement and succession planning are a major headache for SME leaders moving into 2007.
John Jenkins, CEO of GE Commercial Finance, Business Finance, commented: "With the overall pension deficit estimated at around £100bn, and businesses required to offer and contribute to an employee personal pension account by 2012, the findings highlight the pension pressures that SMEs already face. As large businesses and the public sector are often the main focus of pension discussion, it is easy to overlook the difficulties being faced by SMEs."
GE Commercial Finance is urging SME leaders who have pension deficits or are reviewing the release of equity from their business to fund their own retirement to plan ahead for pension requirements. "We work closely with financial advisers to construct creative funding packages that will assist SME leaders and their management teams with equity release, business refinancing and management buy outs/ins. It all comes down to early planning," Jenkins added.
A copy of the study can be downloaded from: http://www.businessfinance.co.uk/SecuringfortheFuture