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Occupational Pensions

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 3 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) public and (b) private sector open defined benefit occupational pension schemes there were in each year since 1997. (191149)

The Government are committed to enhancing and protecting existing occupational pension provision, including good quality defined benefit schemes in both the public and private sector. The Pensions Bill includes a number of deregulation changes including the reduction in the revaluation cap on deferred pensions to 2.5 per cent. from 5 per cent. leading to average savings of £250 million a year.

The movement away from defined benefit to defined contribution schemes is well documented; the Government will continue to work with stakeholders as part of the rolling deregulatory review to encourage employers to keep existing schemes open, while balancing the needs of the employee.

Estimates of the number of public and private sector open defined benefit occupational pension schemes have only been available since 2000. This information is set out in the following table.

Public

Private

2006

130

3,470

2005

6,230

2004

260

6,280

2000

250

18,350

Notes:

1. Figure for average annual savings (£250 million) is in 2007-08 prices.

2. All figures are estimates and are taken from the Occupational Pension Schemes Survey, years 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2000. Data for years 2000 to 2005 inclusive were produced by the Government Actuary’s Department (GAD). Data from 2006 were produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). 2006 is the latest year published. The coverage of the survey is the UK.

3. Unlike other years, the 2005 survey, only covered private sector schemes.

4. Private sector estimates are for occupational pension schemes with one section only. These exclude schemes offering benefits on different bases to different groups of members.

Source:

Occupational Pension Schemes Survey.