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Volume 694: debated on Wednesday 25 July 2007

My honourable friend the Minister of State for Pensions Reform (Mike O’Brien) has made the following Statement.

On 9 March this year, James Purnell, the former Minister for Pensions Reform, announced that Chris Lewin and Ed Sweeney, who had been appointed as external reviewers to the deregulatory review, had published their consultation paper. I am pleased to advise the House that I am today laying a copy of their report in the Library of the House.

I am grateful to Chris Lewin and Ed Sweeney for all their hard work over the last seven months and for their thorough and thoughtful report.

The purpose of the deregulatory review is to simplify the private pensions regulatory framework and to reduce regulatory burdens, bearing in mind the need to strike a balance between protecting members’ benefits and encouraging employer provision of pensions. The review was initially announced in the May 2006 pensions White Paper.

We will carefully consider the recommendations and look forward to discussing them with key stakeholders. We expect to produce a full response in the autumn outlining our decisions.

The report will be available on the department’s pensions reform internet site later today.