Tom Hunt Excerpts
Monday 1st March 2021

(2 months, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber

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Department for Work and Pensions
Guy Opperman Portrait Guy Opperman
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It is a great honour and privilege to respond to the debate. As always with pensions, while we are engaging in a debate on a specific topic colleagues across the House never miss the opportunity to raise all manner of issues on pensions, to which I have been asked to respond. I am delighted to do so.

No sooner has Her Majesty signed the Pension Schemes Act 2021 on the dotted line—we thank her tremendously for that, and I thank the House for its endorsement of that wonderful piece of legislation, which will make our pensions safer, better and greener—than colleagues are urging me to bring forth another pensions Bill to further transform the pensions landscape. I am sure that those on the Treasury Bench, and the Deputy Chief Whip and the pairing Whip, will have taken due attention of that when bids for future legislation are put in.

Tom Hunt Portrait Tom Hunt (Ipswich) (Con)
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In a very practical sense and meaningful way, how do these reforms make a real difference to my constituents in Ipswich?

Guy Opperman Portrait Guy Opperman
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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.