HC Deb 10 May 2002 vol 385 cc366-8W
Lynne Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when private sector providers who wish to make combined pensions forecasts available to prospective pensioners will be able to do so; and what information on forecasts is available to them. [54239]

Maria Eagle

The combined pension forecasting service was launched in October 2001 at the industry's annual Pensions Show. Since that date the service has been open to all pension providers to register their interest in participating.

The service is delivered on a voluntary basis through employers and pension scheme providers with the consent of individual customers.

Customer Account Managers organise publicity of the service at industry conferences and seminars. Additionally, they support individual providers who have expressed an interest in joining the new service through one-to-one presentations and guide them through the formal registration process.

Explanatory information leaflets and guides, have also been produced for distribution to providers these are: CPF—Take part in combined pension forecasting, CPF2—vA guide to combined pension forecasting and CPF3—Combined pension forecast: Technical guide.

Lynne Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list those employers and pension scheme providers who have participated in pilot exercises to inform the design and development of combined pensions forecasts; and if he will make sample statements available in the Library. [54238]

Maria Eagle

Pilot exercises were conducted with the following seven companies:

  • Sainsbury' s
  • Emap
  • Prudential
  • Axa/Sunlife
  • Merseyside Pension Fund
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • National Provident Institute

A sample statement from the Prudential has been placed in the Library.

Mr. David Stewart

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he has taken to inform employees whose employers have switched from final salary pensions to money purchase schemes about the impact of such changes. [55327]

Maria Eagle

Pension schemes are set up voluntarily by employers and they decide what the provisions of those schemes should be. Once a scheme is established scheme trustees are required to provide members with basic information about the scheme, including what benefits are payable and how those benefits are calculated. If employers choose to switch from a final salary to a money purchase scheme, the Government believes employers have a responsibility to make it clear to their employees if contribution rates change and what the implications of that are for their future pension provision.