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Pension Funds

Volume 929: debated on Tuesday 5 April 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he last met representatives of the pension funds.

In recent months I have had many meetings with those concerned with the provision of occupational pensions.

What has happened to the proposal to hand over half of the positions among occupational pension fund trustees only to employees nominated by the trade unions? Will it be a casualty of the new parliamentary situation, or will the right hon. Gentleman persist with this illiberal measure with the consent of the Liberal Party, despite the strong opposition in the industry and among many employees?

I have had widespread consultation—which has included the CBI, many pensions interests and many trustees—based on the White Paper. Those consultations are continuing.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many married women will undoubtedly find it very difficult to make decisions about their own pension arrangements next May until they know what their employers will do under these schemes? Is he satisfied with progress? Does he not think that the deadline for married women's decisions should be extended?

I am aware of some of the consternation that has been caused in this area. I shall certainly have another look at the matter. I believe that the time scale is satisfactory, but I give that undertaking.