HC Deb 03 June 1986 vol 98 c725
11. Mr. McCrindle

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied with the response of financial institutions to the personal pensions proposals in the Social Security Bill.

Mr. Fowler

Yes. Insurance companies and the new providers like building societies and unit trusts are showing an encouraging and increasing interest in personal pensions.

Mr. McCrindle

I accept that it will most often be appropriate for people to remain within good occupational schemes, but does my right hon. Friend join me in welcoming the fact that in future there is to be a choice? Will he join me equally in suggesting to the established pension funds that instead of complaining about the 2 per cent. incentive that is being given to the new personal pension arrangements they should welcome competition, on the basis that whichever scheme may be effected there is every reason to expect that competition will bring a better return?

Mr. Fowler

I entirely agree with what my hon. Friend has said. At present there are about 10 million or 11 million people without an occupational pension scheme of their own or without a personal pension. The current legislation gives them the right to choose. All the experience of other countries, notably the United States, is that competition between different providers takes charges down, and I think that that is what will happen in this country.

Mr. Marlow

Is there any possibility that the private sector will be able to devise a system of private pensions for the marauding anarchists who are causing so much distress in the west country at present? The public at large cannot perceive why these people should be getting taxpayers' money.

Mr. Fowler

I entirely understand what my hon. Friend has said and sympathise with it. I think he will agree with me, however, that it has precious little to do with personal pensions.

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