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Road Transport (Working Time) Regulations

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Mr. David Jamieson): The Road Transport (Working Time) Regulations 2005 were laid before Parliament today and will come into force on 4 April 2005. These new regulations implement Council Directive 2002/15/EC concerning the working time of persons performing mobile road transport activities.

To accompany the new regulations, we have also published

Copies of these documents have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

The regulations, formal guidance and regulatory impact assessment follow public consultation—we have also placed copies of a summary of the consultation responses and the Government's subsequent conclusions in the Libraries of both Houses.

The new regulations will provide extra protection for drivers and crew of heavy goods and public service vehicles who carry out road transport activities covered by the EU drivers' hours rules—Regulation (EEC) 3820/85. The main provisions of the Road Transport (Working Time) Regulations 2005 are:

In addition, under the new regulations:

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Self-employed drivers will not be covered by the regulations until March 2009, as provided for in the directive.

The Government will review the new regulations and associated formal guidance in the light of practical experience.


Stakeholder Pensions

The Minister for Pensions (Malcolm Wicks): We have today laid regulations before Parliament to make the stakeholder pension suitable for inclusion in the new suite of stakeholder products. We are also publishing the Government's response to the consultation on the regulations and a copy has been placed in the Library.

There are two key changes to the stakeholder regulations. The first requires pension scheme providers to introduce lifestyling. The second amends the charge cap applicable to consumers.

"Lifestyling" is an established financial mechanism and means that a pension scheme member's savings will be moved gradually into less volatile investments at least five years before retirement, thus helping to reduce the risk of an unexpected drop in value in the period before retirement. Lifestyling will be a requirement where a person makes no choice about how his or her pension savings are to be invested. However, members will be able to opt out of lifestyling if they so choose.

The regulations also provide for an increase in the stakeholder pension charge cap. For new members of schemes from 6 April 2005, the annual management charge will be capped at 1.5 per cent. for the first 10 years of membership, decreasing to 1 per cent. thereafter. However charges for existing members will continue to be capped at 1 per cent. per annum.

The regulations come into effect on 6 April 2005.