We published the pensions dashboard feasibility report in December, and the consultation closes on 28 January. We will shortly thereafter draft legislation, which will unquestionably benefit the 16,000 men and women in my hon. Friend’s constituency who have an auto-enrolled pension at present.
I thank the Minister for that answer, and I am delighted to hear of my constituents who are benefiting. What more can the Department do to encourage more women to save for their financial futures?
We believe that the dashboard will be a crucial part of that, but my hon. Friend will be aware that female participation in a workplace pension has increased by 3 million since 2012, thanks to auto-enrolment. In the private sector, female participation in a workplace pension has jumped from 40% to 80% in the last five years.
In Hartlepool, one in five claimants lose their disability benefit, and we have an estimated nine food banks. We were one of the pilot areas for universal credit. Will the Secretary of State, as part of her investigations, please come to Hartlepool to see for herself the effects of universal credit on my constituents?
I am not sure that that has much to do with the pensions dashboard, but I can certainly say that universal credit is something that the Government support wholeheartedly, and that the individual matters will be looked into.