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Pensions

Volume 168: debated on Wednesday 28 February 1990

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many of those schemes that meet the general conditions of approval of occupational and personal pensions by the Inland Revenue, are such as to permit payment of an amount related to a person's accrued or prospective retirement pension under the scheme, such payments to be made throughout any period in which that person is entitled to the payment of an invalidity pension from the national insurance fund and to cease at the end of that period.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will undertake to instruct the Inland Revenue to establish criteria for the approval of occupational and personal pensions schemes that provide payments of an amount related to a person's accrued or prospective retirement pension under the scheme, such payments to be made throughout any period in which that person is entitled to the payment of an invalidity pension from the national insurance fund and to cease at the end of that period.

As I explained in reply to a question from the right hon. Member on 13 February, Official Report, column 128, the main purpose of occupational pension schemes is to provide a pension in retirement. Occupational pension schemes are voluntary arrangements, and, subject to the conditions laid down to obtain exempt status, individual employers are free to determine the range of benefits that they wish to provide. It would not be appropriate to require them to provide benefits of a particular type or amount.