HC Deb 23 January 1996 vol 270 cc219-20W
Mr. Frank Field

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list(a) the total number of the work force who are currently members of (i) State earnings-related pension scheme, (ii) company pension schemes and (iii) personal pension schemes, (b) the average percentage of the wage or salary being paid into each scheme and (c) the average length of time in years for which these contributions have been made. [7591]

Mr. Heald

The following are the latest figures available for the numbers of individuals falling into each category at some time during the year in question, with one exception—see footnote 2. In certain cases some people may. in the course of a year, be in more than one type of scheme and so the numbers in separate schemes cannot be sensibly totalled. Nor can they be compared to numbers in employment or the work force, measured at a single point in time. This is because more people will work at some time during the year than will be working at any single point in time.

The cumulative number of people who paid some class 1 national insurance contributions at the not-contracted-out rate over the year 1992–93 was 9.1 million. Of those, the number whose earnings factor was equal to or above the annual lower earnings limit is 6.5 million1; these will accrue entitlement to additional pension as will a number of people whose earnings factor was just below the LEL, provided they reach state pension age before April 2000.

Individuals reaching state pension age from April 1999 onwards may also receive an enhancement to their entitlement to additional pension in respect of periods of caring responsibilities and incapacity since 1978.

In 1991, 10.7 million people were members of occupational pension schemes2. This figure includes members of both contracted-in and contracted-out schemes.

In 1992–93, the latest year for which all the relevant data is available, 5.7 million employees were members of appropriate personal pension schemes3 and 600,000 self-employed people held non-appropriate personal pensions4. There were also 1.1 million self-employed holders of retirement annuity contracts4. In addition, 2.5 million non-appropriate personal pension arrangements5 were held by employees, some of whom may also have held an appropriate personal pension or a number of non-appropriate arrangements.

Information relating to the average percentage of the wage or salary paid into each type of scheme and the length of time for which contributions have been made is not available.

  1. 1. Source 1 per cent. sample from the National Insurance Recording System.
  2. 2. Source: GAD 1991 survey of occupational pension schemes which records membership at points in time rather than cumulatively over a year.
  3. 3. Source: 1 per cent. sample from the national insurance recording system.
  4. 4. Source: Inland Revenue survey of personal incomes.
  5. 5. Source: Inland Revenue tax returns from all providers.

In certain cases some people may, in the course of a year, be in one or more types of schemes and so the numbers in separate schemes cannot be sensibly totalled.