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Volume 405: debated on Monday 12 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what research he has commissioned regarding support for pensioners in (a) Ireland and (b) other EU member states. [112636]

The United Kingdom has contributed to the voluntary exchange of information and good practice by EU member states within a framework of common objectives on pensions covering adequacy, financial sustainability and modernisation. As part of this process, the EU spring council on 21 March adopted the joint commission and council report on Adequate and Sustainable Pensions which sets out the approach of each member state, including Ireland. A copy of the Joint Report is in the Library.In 2001, the Department published Cross-country comparisons of pensioners incomes by Richard Disney and Edward Whitehouse (DSS Research Report No.142). The research looked at 12 comparative studies of incomes and poverty among older people in OECD countries including Ireland.