§ 12. Mr. Howard Flight (Arundel and South Downs)
What the timetable will be for the introduction of the stakeholder pension. 
§ The Minister of State, Department of Social Security (Mr. Jeff Rooker)
It is currently planned that stakeholder schemes will be available to the public from April next year and that schemes will be able to register from October this year.
§ Mr. Flight
Will the Minister assure the House that that timetable will not be delayed as a result of using NIRS2 for recording purposes and other problems with the new national insurance arrangements? May I point out that there have been no new final salary schemes since the Government announced their stakeholder arrangements; and that the number of personal pension schemes has fallen? In other words, since the Government have been dithering over their stakeholder proposals, new pension provision in this country has declined significantly.
§ Mr. Rooker
The answer to the first part of the hon. Gentleman's question is yes. I gave an answer that, on current plans, the schemes will be available from April 2001—[Interruption.] I repeat, on current plans—on what else can I base my answer? Under current plans, we intend to introduce stakeholder schemes from April next year and company providers will be able to register from this October. As for the rest of his question, it does not apply to stakeholders; perhaps he will write to me about it.