HC Deb 28 February 1977 vol 927 cc59-60W
Mr. Paul Dean

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what further steps he proposes to take to bring to the attention of all concerned with occupational pension schemes the need for early action in relation to the Pensions Act 1975.

Mr. Orme

My Department has produced several leaflets on the effect of the Pensions Act and substantial numbers of these have been distributed to employers, employees, trade union representatives and pensions advisers. Both the Occupational Pensions Board and my Department receive letters and telephone inquiries daily about the Act; in answering these, and also in talks or discussions with interested groups or organisations, the need for early action is constantly stressed. Both the Department and the Board have been taking active steps to encourage early action by employers. Whether any further action is required will depend on the response to the above steps. The new pension scheme will come into effect on 6th April 1978 and the timetable for the consultative procedures involved makes it imperative for

Month 1974 1975 1976 1977
January 110.4 119.1 117.5
February 108.6 117.5
March 100.0 106.4 116.9
April 96.6 119.0 (2) 114.7
May 95.3 114.2 113.4
June 94.4 112.0 112.9
July 120.6 (2) 110.8 112.6
August 120.5 110.2 111.1
September 119.2 109.3 109.7
October 116.9 107.7 107.7
November 115.0 122.1 (2) 122.2 (2)
December 113.3 120.6 120.5
1. Based on the movement in the General Index of Retail Prices.
2. Uprating dates.
employers to start these procedures as soon as possible, if they have not already done so.

Mr. Paul Dean

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many elections to contract out under the provisions of the Pensions Act 1975 have now been received by the Occupational Pensions Board; and how many related inquiries are now being received.

Mr. Orme

I am advised by the Occupational Pensions Board that it has received to date four elections to contract out under the Pensions Act 1975. Telephone calls and letters on the subject of contracting out are being received by the Board at the rate of 170 and 20 a week respectively.

The Board has assured me that its officials are very willing to give informal advice to companies or their pensions advisers at any stage.