§ Mr. Meacher
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what action he proposes to take to prevent employers diverting their employees' pension fund moneys either to parent companies or to other corporate interests;
(2) what plans he has to ensure that occupational fund assets are retained for the exclusive benefit of its members and pensioners.
§ Miss Widdecombe
Safeguards already exist in trust law to protect the interests of members of occupational pension schemes. Trustees have a duty to act, at all times, in the interests of all the beneficiaries of the scheme in accordance with the trust deed. Additional safeguards are in place for schemes that are used for contracting out of SERPS.
This Government have already brought into force a provision which restricts an employer's ability to receive funds from a related pension scheme unless the scheme already increases pensions in payment at least in line with prices up to a maximum of 5 per cent.
In addition we will bring forward, early next year, regulations to restrict to 5 per cent. the level of a schemes self investment in a sponsoring, associated or connected company.