§ Mr. Higgins
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what information he has on the existence of any occupational pension scheme in the private sector not covered by contributions.
§ Mrs. Gillian Shephard
The rules of an occupational pension scheme specify whether, in addition to the employer, employee members of the scheme are required to contribute to the scheme. It is not a condition for an occupational scheme to be used for contracting-out of the state earnings-related pension scheme (SERPS) that employees pay contributions. There are about 1 million members of non-contributory private sector occupational pensions schemes.