HC Deb 22 March 2001 vol 365 cc356-7W
Sir Robert Smith

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the cost to public funds of removing the requirement for people to purchase an annuity with their retirement pension fund. [154419]

Miss Melanie Johnson

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Arundel and South Downs (Mr. Flight) on 21 March 2001,Official Report, column 236W.

Mr. Cousins

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will review the rules on the conversion of tax supported money purchase pension funds into annuities and publish his conclusions. [154777]

Miss Melanie Johnson

I refer my hon. Friend to Sections 5.66 to 5.69 of our Economic and Fiscal Strategy Report published on Budget Day which sets out our views on annuities.

Mr. Webb

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reason the rate of tax on the pension fund of a person who dies before purchasing an annuity is set at its present rate; and if he will make a statement. [148738]

Miss Melanie Johnson

Contributions to, and the investment build up of, pension funds benefit from deferred taxation to encourage people to save for a secure retirement income that will last for life. Where, following the death of a personal pension schemne member during income drawdown, the remaining pension fund capital is paid to a beneficiary, it is subject to a tax charge of 35 per cent. This charge broadly recovers the pension scheme tax reliefs given earlier on fund contributions and investment growth.