Lisa Cameron – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Work and Pensions

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Lisa Cameron on 2016-05-03.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps his Department took to raise public awareness of changes to national insurance contributions that will take effect from 2016-17.

Justin Tomlinson

The introduction of the new State Pension means that contracting-out of the additional State Pension ended on 5 April 2016. This changed National Insurance contributions for people in Defined Benefit pension schemes who were previously contracted-out, as these employees paid a lower rate of National Insurance in exchange for contributing towards a workplace pension. These changes have been a part of our significant communications effort around the new State Pension.

Proposals to end contracting-out were first published in a 2011 Green Paper “A State Pension for the 21st century” and then in a January 2013 White Paper “The single-tier pension: a simple foundation for saving”. Proposals went through consultation with employers, pension schemes and their representatives before the Pensions Act was passed in 2014.

In November 2014, we launched a public information campaign “Know the Facts” which included specific contracting-out press advertorials, blogs, fact sheets and digital communications. Our new State Pension resource pack has been issued to over 350 organisations and many more employers, to help support them explain the changes to their members and staff, including the change in contracting-out status for their workplace pensions.