HC Deb 04 November 1968 vol 772 cc478-9
37. Mr. Tapsell

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will seek to ensure fair and reasonable conditions for occupation pension schemes when he introduces the new Earnings-Related National Pensions Scheme.

54. Sir B. Rhys Williams

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will give an assurance that he will not introduce a state graduated pension system to supersede existing private occupational pension arrangements.

Mr. Crossman

The Government welcome the development of occupational schemes and see a continuing and important rôle for them alongside the new State provision.

Mr. Tapsell

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind, when drawing up the White Paper, that there is widespread concern among 12 million of his fellow countrymen, who have so far saved about £9,000 million in these schemes, that his new proposals may either damage the existing schemes or at least reduce their rate of future growth?

Mr. Crossman

I am aware that there is concern about this, certainly among those who run occupational pension schemes. I share their concern. One of the most difficult problems we must solve is precisely how to establish a new, genuine State occupational scheme which fits in with present schemes. I have had to spend more time and thought on this issue than on most others, but I believe that we have worked out a solution which the hon. Gentleman will find, when he sees it, to be fair.

Sir B. Rhys Williams

Would the Secretary of State make a statement about the transferability of pension rights? If private occupational schemes are to continue, something must be done on this score. Is he aware that those who at present belong to these schemes are, when they change their jobs, losing their pension rights at the rate of £1 million a week?

Mr. Crossman

I am aware of the problem. I hope that the subject will be dealt with, together with the pension plan, in the White Paper. If the hon. Gentleman wishes to pursue the matter further, I suggest that he tables a Question to the First Secretary.

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