§ Mr. Patrick Thompson
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what plans he has to publicise the new pension choices introduced by the Social Security Act 1986.
§ Mr. Portillo
The Government wish to ensure that employers and employees are made aware of the new pensions choices available to them as a result of the Social Security Act 1986. While the promotion of particular products and advice on the type of pension suitable in any given case are the responsibilities of pensions providers and professional advisers, the Government intend that the new framework created by the Act should be as widely understood as possible. We will, therefore, be taking the following measures.
First, we will be mounting a public awareness campaign, making use of television and press advertising. The major effort will be concentrated in the weeks preceding the start of the new personal pension arrangements on 1 July 1988, since it is only at that point that the full range of choices becomes available. This will 854W be preceded by a shorter press advertisement campaign in March 1988, directed towards employers, which will draw attention to the new options for occupational pension schemes starting on 6 April 1988.
Second, the Department will shortly be issuing a set of explanatory leaflets. The television and press advertisements are designed to lead people who are interested to obtain a leaflet entitled "New Pensions Choices" which will give an overview of the new options. This leaflet draws attention in turn to two further leaflets, one aimed at employers and the other at employees. Supported by detailed fact sheets, the two leaflets will describe how the new arrangements work.