HC Deb 26 July 1965 vol 717 cc4-5
4. Mr. Dean

asked the Minister of Labour how many employees are now covered by occupational pension schemes; and what steps he is taking to encourage the further spread of such schemes.

Mr. Thornton

About 12 million employees are now in occupational pension schemes. The growth of these schemes is already encouraged by tax concessions.

Mr. Dean

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that encouraging information. Can he say when the Committee which is considering the preservation of pension rights is likely to report to him and when we are likely to see action by the Government in this connection?

Mr. Thornton

I could not give the date when the Committee will report, but, when it does, my right hon. Friend will give urgent attention to the matter.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

Would not the hon. Gentleman agree that the transferability of pension rights is perhaps one of the most important recommendations that has come from the National Economic Development Council? Would not he undertake to hurry this matter? It is of great concern to the 12 million people to whom he referred in his Answer.

Mr. Thornton

My right hon. Friend took early action on this matter when he became Minister of Labour. We are doing all we can to get an early report and recommendations on this very complex issue.

Mr. Godber

In the light of the last reply, may I ask whether the hon. Gentleman is aware that it was not his right hon. Friend but I who set up the Committee to which he referred?

Mr. Thornton

I beg the right hon. Gentleman's pardon.

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