Pension reform will not affect cross-border workers here: Webb

PENSIONS Minister Steve Webb says the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has regulated the automatic pension enrolment scheme to take account of cross-border workers but claims new reforms will not affect people in Londonderry and Donegal adversely.

Londonderry MP Mark Durkan said asked if the Minister would take time to proof his detailed proposals to ensure that no untoward difficulties arise for cross-border workers.

“I represent a border constituency, and I know that it is quite normal for people to work on a cross-border basis,” he stated.

“Their jobs often move across the border. However, that can create a number of difficulties, including some relating to pensions. Will the Minister minimise those difficulties?” he asked Mr Webb.

Although the Minister of State said Mr Durkan was “right to raise the issue of cross-border workers, for which we have had to regulate in the automatic enrolment scheme” he said he was “not aware of any specific issues that would arise from our proposals, because they are built on the national insurance contributory principle.”

“They turn contributions into pensions in a different way, but the system is basically the same. However, if the hon. Gentleman becomes aware of any such issues and wishes to draw them to my attention, I shall be happy to look into them,” said Mr Webb.