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Volume 450: debated on Tuesday 24 October 2006

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 9 October 2006, Official Report, column 291W, on pension contributions, if he will ensure that those who pay voluntary class 3 National Insurance contributions under the present system are refunded if the proposed Pensions Reform Bill includes provisions cutting the number of years to qualify for the full State Pension to 30 and the additional contributions paid prove unnecessary; and what guidance he plans to provide to people in that situation. (95474)

There are no plans to refund those who have paid voluntary Class 3 contributions under existing legislation. HMRC has taken steps to alert contributors to the potential impact of the proposed changes and advised that they should obtain a pension forecast before paying any voluntary contributions, if they are due to reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2010. Information has also been placed on the HMRC website about the changes.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent estimate he has made of the proportion of pensions tax relief which relates to public sector pension schemes; and if he will make a statement. (96014)

Latest estimates of cost of tax relief on contributions to occupational pension schemes are included in table 7.9 of the HMRC website:

The cost of tax relief relating to public sector schemes is not estimated separately from other occupational schemes.