Mark FrancoisMain Page: Mark Francois (Conservative - Rayleigh and Wickford)
Department Debates - View all Mark Francois's debates with the Department for Work and Pensions
My hon. Friend is a champion for his constituency and rightly raises the importance of what we are doing. I draw his attention to two key points: first, the Pension Schemes Act will make his constituents’ pensions safer, better and greener; and secondly, the automatic enrolment reforms that we have brought forward as a coalition Government and then a Conservative Government unquestionably support his constituents, who are saving in their thousands, to the tune of 8% per annum.
Of course, my hon. Friend will be aware that in 2012, approximately 35% of our young people were saving into a workplace pension, and now 86% in his community are doing so. Similarly, women, who were saving at 40%, are now saving, quite obviously, up at 86%, as I outlined earlier.
Indeed. The practical reality is that I will write to my right hon. Friend with more detail about the impact assessment, but clearly, this is an annual review that is done on an ongoing basis to ensure that the automatic enrolment regulations should be enforced in an appropriate way, and they should be reviewed and assessed in an appropriate way.
Some colleagues have raised matters of the Budget, and I leave that to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor. Similarly, the hon. Member for Strangford (Jim Shannon), whose comments we always appreciate—it is an honour to respond to the great man—asked for a specific assurance that the Government will continue to support employers. I can give him the profound assurance that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor on Wednesday will continue the massive support that this Government have made to employers on an ongoing basis. That will continue.
Clearly, we work on an ongoing basis to implement by the mid-2020s the automatic enrolment review; we continue to work forward on the pensions dashboard; section 125 of the Pension Schemes Act has made a significant difference on pension scams; and we continue to put climate change at the heart of pensions, which are now safer, better and greener under this Government.
Question put and agreed to.