Automatic enrolment has reversed the decade-long decline in workplace pension saving. Department for Work and Pensions statistics show that since 2012 over 10 million people have been automatically enrolled into a pension. Minimum contributions increased this month to 8%, and everyone who is contributing at the minimum rate should see an increase in their overall remuneration package.
I thank the Minister for that response. One of my constituents in Hitchin is a stay-at-home mother, and the maximum she can contribute to her pension is £3,000 per year, whereas if she were working, she could contribute up to £40,000 per year. I am sure the Minister will agree that we want to encourage people to save for their future. How can we increase the threshold so that stay-at-home parents can increase the amount they put into their pensions?
The Government do offer generous tax relief on contributions to, and investment growth within, pensions. We also enable tax-free access to a proportion of savings. It is right that the Government control the cost of tax reliefs, and the £3,600 limit is one method of doing that. I can assure my hon. Friend that all aspects of pension policy and the tax system are kept under review in the context of the wider public finances.
On Thursday last week, one of my oldest manufacturing companies, Dudson, went into administration. The average length of service is over 20 years, and we now have huge concerns about the pension scheme, as we do about everything else to do with the administration—there is no money left even for redundancy. Will the Minister arrange for me to meet the appropriate Ministers to ensure that we get Government support where we most desperately need it?