Work and Pensions written question – answered on 30th March 2006.

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Photo of Vera Baird Vera Baird PPS (Rt Hon Charles Clarke, Secretary of State), Home Office

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will take steps to make state pension accrual easier for those in part-time work.

Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

The Government welcome the broad framework of the Pensions Commission's second report which has set out a number of recommendations for the long-term reform of pensions. The Commission's report along with the report Women and Pensions: The evidence" have formed the basis for the National Pensions Debate.

As part of the debate, we are considering a range of options to help people build up better state pension entitlement, including whether we can do more for part-time workers. In taking forward proposals for reform we will be guided by the five tests we have set out: any changes must promote personal responsibility, be fair to women and carers in particular, and be affordable, simpler to understand, and sustainable. At this stage, the Government are ruling nothing in and nothing out.

We will be considering the feedback from the National Pensions Debate as we work towards national consensus and the publication of a White Paper on pensions reform in the spring.

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