Skip to main content

Pensions

Volume 453: debated on Monday 27 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many national insurance deficiency notices have been distributed since (a) 30 November 2005 and (b) 25 May 2006; and how many of these have been sent to individuals who would reach state pension age on or after 6 April 2010 and who could potentially achieve at least 30 qualifying years without paying any class 3 national insurance contributions. (102230)

I have been asked to reply.

The total number of deficiency notices issued for the 2003-04 tax year since 30 November 2005 was 1.26 million. HMRC started issuing deficiency notices for the 2004-05 tax year in September 2006 and so far has issued 2.5 million. The deficiency notices issued since September 2006 include information on the proposed changes to qualifying years.

Information on the numbers of individuals due to reach state pension age on or after 6 April 2010 who have paid class 3 national insurance contributions (a) since 25 May 2006 and (b) since 30 November 2005 is not readily available.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 20 November 2006, Official Report, column 22W, on pension schemes, whether the reference to plans encompasses benefits already earned in private sector defined benefit pension schemes. (103794)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library the advice about possible changes to the qualifying conditions for receipt of a full basic state pension that has been issued to individuals applying to pay class 3 national insurance contributions (a) between 30 November 2005 and 25 May 2006 and (b) since 26 May 2006. (102229)

I have been asked to reply.

No specific guidance was provided to individuals applying to pay class 3 national insurance contributions between 30 November 2005 and 25 May 2006.

Following publication of the White Paper, “Security in retirement: towards a new pensions system” on 25 May 2006, HM Revenue and Customs has issued letters to those applying to pay class 3 contributions informing them of the proposal to reduce to 30 the number of qualifying years needed for entitlement to a full basic state pension for people who will reach state pension age on or after 6 April 2010. Sample copies of the letters have been placed in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the average rate of private sector employer contribution into (a) defined benefit pension schemes and (b) defined contribution pension schemes in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. (101301)

In 2005 the overall weighted average employer contribution rates for private sector occupational pension schemes, estimated across all schemes with 12 or more members, were 16.0 per cent. in defined benefit schemes and 6.3 per cent. in defined contribution schemes. Contribution rates to open schemes were 13.9 per cent. in defined benefit schemes and 6.0 per cent. in defined contribution schemes.

Where private sector employers make contributions to stakeholder pensions or group personal pensions, estimated median employer contribution rates were 6 per cent. for stakeholder pensions and eight per cent for group personal pensions in 2005.