HC Deb 29 April 2002 vol 384 cc599-600W
Mr. Boswell

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what information he collates on the cumulative value of employers' contributions to a pension scheme(a) on a defined benefit basis and (b) on a defined contribution basis; and if he will make a statement on current trends in what is offered under each of these structures. [43132]

Maria Eagle

The cumulative value of occupational pension funds depends on a number of factors including investment growth, employer and employee contributions, tax relief, national insurance rebates, pension payments and transfers. It is not possible to calculate the cumulative value of employer contributions separately.

However this Department does collect information on private sector contribution rates to defined benefit and defined contribution pension schemes as a proportion of employee salary, through the Employer Pension Provision (EPP) Report. The EPP Report 2000 was published on 18 March 2002, and shows that the median employer contribution rate in 'salary related' (defined benefit) schemes was 6 per cent. of pay, and the rate in 'money purchase' (defined contribution) schemes was 5 per cent. of pay. A copy of the report is available in the Library.

The Government Actuary's Department produces its Occupational Pension Schemes survey every five years. The most recent survey, for 1995, is in the House of Commons Library. It collects data on employers' contribution rates for defined contribution occupational schemes as a proportion of employee salary (note: this does not include payments to personal pensions or group personal pensions).

The Office for National Statistics collects data on the total amounts contributed to non-state pensions in its MQ5 series, produced quarterly. These figures have been withdrawn due to errors in the publication, and are being investigated.

For information about current trends, I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 4 February 2002, Official Report, columns 660–68.