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Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the former hon. Members who left Parliament in 2005 who have since been appointed to public bodies by his Department, broken down by party; and who was responsible for making each appointment. 
Mrs. McGuire: Information about the political activity of appointees is recorded and publicised in accordance with the independent Commissioner for Public Appointments' Code of Practice. This shows that no former hon. Members who left Parliament in 2005 have since been appointed to public bodies sponsored by this Department.
|New Deal for Young People||56|
|New Deal 25 plus||29|
|New Deal for Lone Parents||30|
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) over 25s, (b) lone parents, (c) over 50s and (d) young people in Peterborough have participated in the New Deal in each year since its inception. 
|New Deal 25 plus||New Deal for Lone Parents||New Deal 50 plus||New Deal for Young People|
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many professionals are involved in condition management programmes in each of the Pathways to Work pilots, broken down by profession; what the annual cost of the work of healthcare professionals has been in each pilot; how many people in each pilot have been receiving incapacity benefit for (a) less than six months, (b) between six and 12 months and (c) 12 months or longer; and what assessment he has made of the implications for the number of healthcare workers needed if Pathways to Work is extended to all areas. 
Margaret Hodge: Condition management programmes (CMPs) are jointly delivered by Jobcentre Plus and the NHS. Actual spend figures for the provision of services via health care professionals are not available. The funding agreed between individual districts and primary care trusts (PCTs) is set out in the following table:
|District||200405 (£)||200506 (£)|
|Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, Argyll and Bute||1,526,079||1,845,027|
|Bridgend, Rhondda, Cynon and Taff||767,979||1,209,800|
Information on how many people in each pilot have been receiving incapacity benefit for (a) less than six months (b) between six months and 12 months and (c) 12 months or longer, is in the following table.
to 1 year
Argyll and Bute
Cynon and Taff
Delivery is not standardised in the pilot areas. The services within the CMPs are provided by a range of healthcare professionals, including: occupational therapists, mental health practitioners, GPs, physiotherapists, speech therapists, health psychologists, and nurses. The number and type of healthcare professionals varies between each pilot and is set locally.
We will continue to work with the NHS to deliver this vital element of our Pathways to Work initiative. We will also seek to ensure our proposals deliver the pilots in innovative and more cost-effective ways as we roll out to the rest of the country. We have set out our proposals in the Green Paper A new deal for welfare: Empowering people to work" (Cm 6730) published on 24 January 2006.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many general practitioner surgeries are participating in the Pathways to Work pilots; and in how many of them employment advisers have been placed. 
Margaret Hodge: As part of the Pathways to Work approach Jobcentre Plus has been working closely with a wide range of NHS professionals in surgeries and other health settings to promote the health and employment message. Many non-governmental organisations have already placed employment advisers in general practitioner surgeries across the country and our proposals came from this experience.
We want to build on the knowledge gained from these experiments and will be running pilots in five of the seven current Pathways to Work Pilot areas, where we will place employment advisers in general practitioner surgeries. We do not have information at this stage on the number of advisers we will place. However, two surgeries in the pilot areas are already using the services of employment advisers.
The lessons learned from these pilots will help to ensure the success of our proposals recently published in our Green Paper; A new deal for welfare: Empowering people to work" to place an Employment Adviser service in GPs' surgeries.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of people likely to switch from current occupational or private pension schemes into the proposed National Pension Savings Scheme, if it is implemented. 
Mr. Timms: The Government is in the process of examining the recommendations made by the Pensions Commission in detail. This includes recommendations on a National Pension Savings Scheme. At this stage, nothing is ruled in and nothing is ruled out. In looking at options we will of course take account of the possible impacts on existing schemes.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will commission research into the likely impact on economic growth in the UK of the national pension savings scheme proposed in the Pensions Commission's second report. 
Mr. Timms: The Government are in the process of examining the recommendations made by the Pensions Commission in detail. At this stage, nothing is ruled in and nothing is ruled out. We will give careful consideration to the need for additional research into the likely impact of the NPSS on economic growth in the UK.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the persistency levels for (a) regular premium personal pensions and (b) group and individual personal pensions was in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Timms: Such information as is available is contained in an annual survey on persistency of life and pension policies produced and published by the Financial Services Authorities (FSA). The latest publication is the 2004 survey and it can be found on the FSA's website at:
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will commission research into the likely levels of persistency if a national pension savings scheme were to be established as proposed in the Pensions Commission Report. 
Mr. Timms: The Government are in the process of examining the recommendations made by the Pensions Commission in detail. At this stage, nothing is ruled in and nothing is ruled out. As part of this process we will be giving careful consideration to the need for additional research into the likely levels of persistency if the NPSS were to be established.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will introduce legislation requiring companies who have taken a pensions contribution holiday since 1997 to make the payments not made. 
Mr. Timms: We have no plans to do so. The level of contributions paid by the sponsoring employer of a private sector defined benefit pension scheme is determined and reviewed under the rules of the scheme, subject to overriding legislation. From April 1997 schemes were required to be funded above the level of the minimum funding requirement (MFR) before the sponsoring employer could take a contribution holiday.
New scheme funding requirements, replacing the MFR, came into force from 30 December 2005. Pension scheme trustees now have greater powers to frame their scheme's funding strategy and determine the appropriate level of contributions payable by the employer.
13 Feb 2006 : Column 1690W
In addition, from 6 April 2006 current HM Revenue and Customs requirements for pension schemes to reduce an actuarial surplus will be abolished. This will remove a factor which may have played a part in some decisions to allow pension fund contribution holidays in the past. Under the revised requirements sponsoring employers will still be able to take a contribution holiday where the scheme is sufficiently well-funded, but only where the trustees agree that it is appropriate.
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