asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take steps to raise the limit of pension which may be received from private sources before a recipient's entitlement to State retirement pension is reduced.
The basic State retirement pension is not affected by any pension received from private sources. In determining a person's entitlement to supplementary pension, which is means tested and provides a safety net for those whose resources are insufficient to meet their requirements, the amount of any State retirement pension or occupational pension is taken fully into account. We have no plans to change these rules.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what would be the cost of increasing the basic State retirement pension to one-third of average gross earnings for a single person and one half average gross earnings for a married couple without a corresponding increase in the level of supplementary pensions; and if he will set out the cost on a gross and net basis and give separate figures based on (a) total gross earnings, (b) total manual gross earnings and (c) male manual gross earnings.
At November 1981 average gross weekly earnings for all adult male full-time workers and adult male full-time manual workers, as derived from the new earnings survey, were £151·50 and £131·50 a week, respectively. On this basis, and at current benefit levels, the gross benefit cost of raising retirement pension as proposed would be £8¼ billion and £5 ½ billion, respectively, in a full year. Estimates for the net benefit cost are being prepared and will be published in the Official Report when available.