Skip to main content

Pensions

Volume 400: debated on Wednesday 26 February 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many employers have informed him that they are willing to co-operate with his Department in issuing combined pension forecasts to their employees. [98518]

The combined pensions forecasting service is open to employers and pension providers. We do not collect information on employers as a distinct group. Currently, 426 private sector pension schemes have expressed an interest in using the combined pension forecasting service. Plans progress to increase take-up, but this is very much dependant on private sector partners' willingness to participate in this voluntary service. We sought views on how to increase coverage, whether on a voluntary or compulsory basis, in our recent Green Paper, "Simplicity, Security and Choice: Working and Saving for Retirement" (Cm5677).

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the number of minimum income guarantee claimants who would cease to be eligible if the basic state pension was increased by (a) £5 per week for those below 75, (b) £10 per week for those aged 75-79 and (c) £15 per week for those aged 80 and above, with the additions for those aged over 75 and over 80 being paid in full regardless of contribution record. [97379]

We estimate that around 350,000 benefit units could cease to be eligible for the Pension Credit if the maximum rate payable of the basic State Pension was increased by £5 per week and age additions of £5 per week were payable for those aged 75 and over and £10 per week for those aged 80 and over in 2003–04.

Notes:

  • 1. The estimate is based on the Department for Work and Pensions Policy Simulation Model for 2003–04.
  • 2. Calculations assume the maximum rate payable of the Basic State Pension is increased by £5 per week and all other payments proportionately and that age additions of £5 per week are paid to all those aged 75–79 and £10 per week to those aged 80 and over.
  • 3. For modelling purposes, Pension Credit is assumed to be in place throughout 2003-04. In fact, Pension Credit will begin in October 2003.
  • 4. The estimate excludes those individuals living in residential care homes.
  • To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has for the issue of state pension forecasts; in what sequence different groups will be issued with such forecasts and over what timescale; how many such forecasts he expects to issue for each group; and if he will make a statement. [98519]

    State pension forecast information is issued to customers either directly, or via their pension scheme provider as part of a combined pension forecast.The combined pension forecasting service was launched in October 2001 and to date 426 providers have expressed an interest in using the service. Plans progress to increase take-up but this is very much dependant on private sector partners willingness to participate in this voluntary scheme. We sought views on how to increase coverage, whether on a voluntary or compulsory basis, in our recent Green Paper Simplicity, security and choice: Working and saving for retirement.State Pension forecasts have been issued to individuals by DWP on request for a number of years. The Department expects to issue around 0.75 million such forecasts in this financial year.The Green Paper also announced that from May 2003, the Department will commence the automatic issue of State Pension forecasts and supporting information to the self-employed with a view to extending this service across the rest of the working-age population over the next five years. We will evaluate the self-employed exercise and alongside other research this will inform the sequencing and volumes of other automatic forecasts.