To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the accuracy of information on entitlement to SERPS, which is provided by his Department to individuals via pension forecasts. 
The calculation of additional pension, which includes SERPS, state second pension, graduated pension and any contracted-out deductions is based upon information held on an individual's national insurance record and information provided by the customer on form BR19 when they request a state pension forecast.The calculation is based upon current pension legislation and has been thoroughly tested.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the accuracy of information provided to individuals regarding their future pension entitlement (a) within pensions forecasts provided on request and (b) within pension forecasts issued automatically. 
The calculation of all pension forecasts is based upon current pension legislation and has been thoroughly tested.Pension forecasts on request are based upon an individual's national insurance record and also detailed information provided by the individual on form BR19 when they apply for a forecast.
Forecasts issued "automatically" will be either a combined pension forecast (CPF) or a state pension forecast issued to a specific group. A CPF is the existing benefit statement issued by the employer/pension scheme provider coupled with a state pension forecast.
From May 2003 the Government is issuing automatic state pension forecasts to the self-employed.
Automatic forecasts are based upon a set of specified criteria relating to working status and National Insurance contributions. Planned retirement will be assumed to be at state pension age.
Included in the literature accompanying an automatic forecast is an invitation to request a more detailed Individual Pension Forecast (IPF) should customers wish to provide the Department with more personal information about their likely circumstances and intentions leading up to retirement.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will review the practice of recording nil on individual pensions forecasts, when exact levels of entitlement are not known; and if he will make a statement. 
There are two elements to a pension forecast. They cover the position at the time the forecast is issued as well as a projection of the position at state retirement age. The first element provides exact information on state pension at "today's" rates based on an individual's current national insurance record at the time the forecast is provided. No assumptions are made in calculating this element of the forecast.The forecast of expected state pension at retirement age is based on the same record, which assumes that contributions will continue at the same level. Further information is supplied with the forecast to explain the calculation and the projection. In some instances the pension entitlement will be "nil" at the time the forecast is requested. For example, if someone asks for a state pension forecast but has less than 10 years national insurance contributions then they have not accrued enough national insurance contributions for a state pension at that time. However, taking account of current levels of contributions, and projecting that they continue at that level, may mean we can give a positive forecast at retirement age. Some women though may have elected to pay the reduced rate national insurance contribution, so they would not have an entitlement to a state pension in their own right and their forecast would remain as "nil".The purpose of providing the calculation at "today's" rates and at retirement age is to provide information to individuals to help inform their pension planning and enable them to make informed choices with regard to their retirement income levels.