HC Deb 01 February 1965 vol 705 cc699-700
6. Mr. Peter Walker

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what action she has taken to encourage the development of private pension schemes.

Mr. Pentland

The development of occupational and private pension schemes is already greatly encouraged by taxation concessions, and my right hon. Friend is not aware of the need for any further provision.

Mr. Walker

Can the Minister give an assurance that nothing will be done to discourage private occupational schemes, since there is a feeling that they may be discouraged in the future in comparison with the encouragement that was given by the previous Government?

Mr. Pentland

I cannot give that assurance. The hon. Member will probably be aware that my right hon. Friend the Minister has no responsibility for encouraging private schemes. A number of Departments are concerned with different aspects—for example, the Ministry of Labour with transferability and the Board of Trade with financial soundness—but in the last resort the general question concerning the part which private schemes might play in the national life is a matter for the Treasury.

Lord Balniel

Have the Government invited those who run private occupational schemes to give evidence to the Government review of social security which is taking place, of their promise of half-pay on retirement? Following what the Joint Parliamentary Secretary has said in his supplementary reply, surely hon. Members opposite have a responsibility for encouraging private occupational pension schemes.

Mr. Pentland

The point is that the Government have never done anything to discourage private occupational schemes. As to the other part of the noble Lord's question, my right hon. Friend will have taken note of what he has said.

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