(2) what plans he has to revise the level of contracted-out national insurance rebates for (a) April 2008 and (b) April 2012; and if he will make a statement;
(3) what plans he has to review the levels of the contracted-out rebates for pensions; what plans the Government has to make further changes from April 2008; and if he will make a statement.
There is a legal requirement to review the level of contracted-out rebate rates at least every five years—the next review is due to set rates from 2012 to 2017. However, the Secretary of State can, if he considers it necessary or appropriate, review rebate rates more frequently.
The Government have considered the timing of the next review, taking account of both the current fiscal circumstances and of the pension reforms being introduced in the Pensions Bill. As a result, we do not believe it is necessary to review the rebate rates in the short term. However we will continue to monitor the impact on contracting out of the various pensions reforms, in particular the decision to abolish contracting out for defined contribution schemes. These factors will be taken into account when considering the timing of future reviews.