HC Deb 17 December 2002 vol 396 cc775-6W
Mr. Webb

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to his oral statement of 25 November,Official Report, column 12, on stakeholder pensions, if he

Caseload and expenditure on winter fuel payments
1997–98 1998–99 1999–2000 2000–01 2001–02 2002–03
Expenditure on WFPs (£ million) 191 194 759 11,749 1,692 1,710
Number of WFP recipients 9,759,000 9,953,000 10,084,000 11,123,000 11,202,000 11,322,000
1Includes £94 million retrospective payments

will set out the basis for his estimate that more than one million people who did not have a pension 18 months ago have one now. [84484]

Mr. McCartney

[holding answer 2 December 2002]: There has been an increase in the number of people who save for their retirement through private pensions since the introduction of stakeholder pensions. Although not all stakeholder pension sales will be to new pension savers, it is widely acknowledged that stakeholder pensions have had a beneficial effect on the provision of pensions more generally. For example, as an alternative to designating all stakeholder pension scheme employers have broadened access to their occupational pension schemes to the whole of the workforce, or have opened group personal pension schemes to which they contribute. What is clear is that for a very large number of people stakeholder pensions have provided a route into pension provision that they had never had before.