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House of Commons Monday 22 June 2015 The House met at half-past Two o’clock PRAYERS [MR SPEAKER in the Chair] BUSINESS BEFORE QUESTIONS SESSIONAL RETURNS Ordered, That there be laid before this House Returns for Session 2014-15 of information and statistics relating to: (1) Business of the House; (2) Closure of Debate, Proposal of Question and Allocation of Time (including Programme Motions); (3) Sittings of the House; (4) Private Bills and Private Business; (5) Public Bills; (6) Delegated Legislation and Legislative Reform Orders; (7) European Legislation, etc; (8) Grand Committees; (9) Panel of Chairs; and (10) Select Committees.—(The Chairman of Ways and Means.)
Oral Answers to Questions WORK AND PENSIONS The Secretary of State was asked— Private Sector Pensions (Automatic Enrolment) 1. Julian Knight (Solihull) (Con): What assessment he has made of the effects of automatic enrolment on  private sector pension saving. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Justin Tomlinson): More than 5.2 million workers have been automatically enrolled in a workplace pension by their employer to date. Since the start of automatic enrolment, workplace pension membership in the private sector has risen from 32% in 2012 to 49% in 2014, a very positive start. Julian Knight: With 135,000 firms set to auto-enrol their employees from January, does my hon. Friend agree that the work of non-governmental groups such as the Solihull-based Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals is key to the successful delivery of autoenrolment and to meeting the savings challenge of 11 million Britons who are currently failing to put enough away for their retirement?
Justin Tomlinson: Our success to date in implementing automatic enrolment could not have been achieved without the significant ongoing support of a number of sectors, including the pensions and payroll industries. Friends of automatic enrolment have played a crucial role in bringing together organisations that are playing a key role in delivering automatic enrolment. Together they have helped the Government improve the process of automatic enrolment and ensure that these reforms work. We thank them for their support so far and their commitment to continuing to work with us as we start the process of helping 1.3 million smaller employers implement automatic enrolment for their workers. Andrew Gwynne (Denton and Reddish) (Lab): But will the Minister advise the House of his estimate of the number of workers who are excluded from the benefit of auto-enrolment because of the changes in the threshold over the past five years, and what proportion of those workers are women? Justin Tomlinson: The Secretary of State is required by law to review the automatic enrolment thresholds in each tax year and may take into account a range of prescribed factors. The review can include considering whether to lower or increase the thresholds or leave them unchanged, as was the case for the current tax year. Freezing the trigger for this tax year will result in approximately 14,000 additional women and 20,000 people overall being brought into pension savings. On the hon. Gentleman’s specific point, I am happy to write to him with further information. 18.  Nigel Mills (Amber Valley) (Con): I welcome the Minister to his post. One way of boosting auto-enrolment further would be to ensure that people were more confident when they came to access their savings that they had the full range of choices that the law now allows. What more can the Minister do to encourage pension funds to offer that fu
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