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Volume 115: debated on Tuesday 5 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his most recent estimate of the total amount of social security benefits which are not taken up by retirement pensioners; and if he will give a breakdown of the total amount by category of benefit.

Invitations to claim retirement pension are issued automatically to everyone who appears to be entitled about three to four months before minimum pension age. In consequence, take-up is virtually 100 per cent.For supplementary pension estimates, I refer the hon. Member to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Ilford, South (Mr. Thorne) and the hon. Member for Newham, North-East (Mr. Leighton) and Sunderland, North (Mr. Clay) on 30 October 1986 at columns

231–34. First estimates of the take-up of housing benefit are expected to be published shortly.