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17 Apr 2007 : Column 633W—continued


Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what criteria will be used to ensure that funds invested by the proposed Delivery Authority for the personal accounts scheme will be invested in the best interests of its members. [130783]

James Purnell: The personal accounts Delivery Authority will not operate the personal accounts scheme and, as such, will not invest members’ contributions. The Delivery Authority’s role will be to set up personal accounts prior to any members joining the scheme.

As with existing defined contribution occupational pension schemes, trustees will be responsible for the investment of members' contributions in accordance with existing legislation, including the requirement to act in the members’ best interests.

Policy relating to investment choices for personal accounts is under development and will be presented in the second Pensions Bill currently planned for introduction later this year.

17 Apr 2007 : Column 634W

Pensions: Regulation

Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what consideration was given to the potential effect of additional funds to be invested in financial markets during the production of the regulatory impact assessment for the Pensions Bill. [130774]

James Purnell: The Pensions Bill does not introduce measures which will directly lead to additional funds being invested in the financial markets. Because of this the Pensions Bill regulatory impact assessment does not specifically consider the effect of increased investment.

The Government will publish a further regulatory impact assessment looking at personal accounts when the second Pensions Bill is published.

Vocational Training: Hartlepool

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what (a) support, (b) assistance and (c) re-training opportunities are available to people in Hartlepool who live in (i) neighbourhood renewal areas and (ii) non-neighbourhood renewal areas for (A) improving skills in manufacturing and (B) other areas. [129418]

Mr. Jim Murphy: Jobcentre Plus in conjunction with its partner organisations locally provides a wide range of support, assistance and re-training opportunities across the whole of Hartlepool. This includes basic skills training, mentoring and occupational training.

In addition some wards in Hartlepool have recently been given Deprived Area Fund (DAF) status and these areas match with neighbourhood renewal areas. DAF will give the Tees Valley District Manager more flexibility to deal with local employability issues by enabling the implementation of tailored support or provision to suit local circumstances.

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