HC Deb 23 November 1978 vol 958 cc1463-5
11. Mr. McCrindle

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is satisfied that the tax regulation on occupational pension schemes facilitates the transfer of such pensions on changing employment.

Mr. Robert Sheldon

Yes, Sir. Inland Revenue practice in relation to the approval of occupational pension schemes allows transfer payments to be made freely between all types of approved schemes. I have no evidence that there is any general difficulty in such transfers. If the hon. Gentleman has any particular case in mind I suggest he should write to me.

Mr. McCrindle

Does not the Minister agree that the next major leap forward in occupational pensions is likely to be a greater facility for transferring a scheme on changing jobs? I take on board what the right hon. Gentleman has said, but will he look again at the operation of the tax system to see whether a better way can be found to ease the situation? At present, the cards appeared to be stacked against the employee changing his job.

Mr. Sheldon

In general, there is no impediment to transferring pensions from one employer to another as the employee changes jobs. If the hon. Gentleman has a particular case in mind, or seeks to make a particular improvement, I shall be glad to hear any suggestion from him.

Sir Brandon Rhys Williams

Will the Government make it obligatory on occupational pension schemes that they should give full transferability of all accrued rights as a future condition of eligibility for tax concessions?

Mr. Sheldon

There is full transferability at present. Capital sums can be transferred, whether the benefit is a pension or even a lump sum payment. We have been extraordinarily helpful in ensuring that that comes about, to make sure that those who wish to move jobs have no disincentive in the form of tax treatment of their pension rights.

Mr. McCrindle

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In view of the unsatisfactory nature of that reply, I give notice that I shall seek to raise the matter on the Adjournment at the earliest possible moment.