HC Deb 09 June 2004 vol 422 cc481-2W
Brian Cotter

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of small businesses with more than five employees that are complying with legislation to provide workers with access to a stakeholder pension. [167507]

Malcolm Wicks

Estimates of compliance levels since the introduction of stakeholder pensions have been based on cumulative quarterly data from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) that have now become out of date. More recent data from the 2003 Employers Pension Provision Survey and from the DTI Small Business Service has enabled us to update our estimate of the level of compliance with the requirement for employers with five or more staff to offer their workers access to a stakeholder pension scheme. On the basis of these we estimate the level of compliance as just over 80 per cent.

We will continue to work with employers so they are aware of the important role they play in helping their employees provide for their retirement. The Government believe that everyone should have the best information, support and opportunity to enable them to make informed choices about how they work and save to achieve their desired retirement income. The workplace is an important focal point for such activity. We will therefore work with employers to make it easier for them to promote good schemes in the workplace, to extend the issue of combined forecasts of state and private pension entitlement and to establish the best ways of ensuring that their employees have access to a decent standard of pension information.