§ Mr. Andrew Bowden
asked the Secretary of State for. Social Services what Government inquiries have examined the impact of inflation on private pension schemes since 1974; what conclusions or recommendations they have made; and whether these and any independent inquiries on the same subject will be reconsidered in the course of his current pensions inquiry.
§ Dr. Boyson
Government inquiries have touched upon the impact of inflation on private pension schemes. The Occupational Pensions Board published its report, "Improved protection for the occupational pension rights and expectations of early leavers" in June 1981 (Ctrind. 8271). Its main recommendation was that preserved pensions should be subjected to statutory increases up to pension age. The Government's proposals were set out in a consultative document published on 29 November 1983.
The committee to review the functioning of financial institutions (Wilson committee) reported in June 1980 (Cmnd. 7937). It considered the effect of inflation on financial institutions (including pension funds) as well as pension funds and pension funding, and recommended a Pension Scheme Act analogous to the Companies Act which would impose statutory disclosure of information and formulate the duties and obligations of employers, trustees and scheme members. It also recommended the setting up of a registry for pension schemes.
The Occupational Pensions Board published its report, "Greater security for the rights and expectations of members of occupational pension schemes" in October 1982 (Cmnd. 8649). (This followed an earlier report published in February 1975 (Cmnd. 5904)). It recommended statutory disclosure of information to scheme members, including information about increases to benefits, and a comprehensive review of the law governing pension schemes. The Government's proposals in this area were set out in a consultative document published on 29 February.
The inquiry into the value of pensions (Scott report) reported in February 1981 (Cmnd. 8147). It suggested that the Government should look seriously at the case for issuing indexed bonds to cover pension liabilities.67W
The effects of inflation on different forms of pension provision, and the findings in these reports and other findings where applicable, are being considered at relevant stages in the work of the current inquiry.