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Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

16. To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what support his Department has made available to those who lost occupational pensions prior to the introduction of the pensions protection fund. (126377)

The Pensions Act 2004 puts in place a range of measures to provide support, advice and protection to schemes and to scheme members.

In particular, the financial assistance scheme provides support for members of defined benefit occupational pension schemes which started to wind up, underfunded, between 1 January 1997 and 5 April 2005.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to his oral statement in response to an intervention by the hon. Member for Leyton and Wanstead of 16 January 2007, Official Report, columns 668-69, on the Pensions Bill, if he will ensure that personal accounts in which individuals are auto-enrolled are by default subject to lifestyling; and if he will make a statement. (123239)

There will be a requirement for personal accounts to include a default investment fund for members who do not exercise an investment choice. The default investment fund will be lifestyled to ensure that risk is reduced as members approach retirement.

Other investment choices will exist for members and will be determined by the executive delivery authority and, subsequently, the personal accounts governing body, using their skills, expertise and consideration of the pension’s environment. These additional investment choices will take into account the needs of members and may or may not include lifestyling.