HC Deb 01 June 1998 vol 313 cc108-9W
Mr. Quentin Davies

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many occupational pension funds(a) have opted out of the Pensions Act 1995 provisions for member-nominated trustees, (b) have no contributing employee and no pensioner-nominated trustees and (c) have pensioner-nominated trustees. [43961]

Mr. Denham

The Government want to promote healthy and well run occupational pension schemes and attach great importance to the role that member-nominated trustees have to play in achieving this.

We are taking stock of how the member-nominated trustee requirements are working in practice and, as part of our evaluation of the Pensions Act 1995, we will be looking very carefully at how we can further promote member-nominated trustees, including greater involvement for pensioner members.

The time limit for completion of member-nominated trustee exercises ended in May 1998 and research is currently underway to obtain information along the lines requested. It will be published as part of the 1998 Employers' Pension Provision Survey. The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) Annual Survey 1997 provides some early indications from data collected from 613 of their member organisations in the last quarter of 1997. This shows that 83 per cent. of schemes adopted employers' alternative arrangements. This is commonly referred to as opting-out although it does not necessarily mean that a scheme does not have member trustees. The NAPF data shows that the vast majority of schemes, including those who used employer proposed arrangements, do, in fact, have one-third or more member trustees, although these trustees have not been nominated and selected under sections 16 or 18 of the Pensions Act 1995.