To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many face-to-face meetings were requested by pensioners in Perth constituency in their dealings with the Pension Service in Dundee in each year since 1997; how many requests were granted; how many have taken place at the home of the pensioner; and what record is kept of such requests; (2) how many
(a) full-time and (b) part-time staff are employed at the Dundee Pension Centre, broken down (i) by (A) managerial and (B) non-managerial posts and (ii) by civil service grades; 
(3) on what occasions since November 2002 staffing levels in Dundee Pension Centre have been increased to cover busy periods and by what amount; 
(4) what the criteria employed by the Pension Centre based in Dundee are when referring pensioners to the Pension Service based in Newcastle; and in what percentage of cases such a referral has been made since November 2002. 
The matters raised are the responsibility of Alexis Cleveland, chief executive of The Pension Service. She will write to the hon. Member.
Letter from C. MacKinnon to Annabelle Ewing, dated 3 June 2003:
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has asked Alexis Cleveland to respond to the following parliamentary questions relating to Dundee Pension Centre. Due to annual leave I am replying, on her behalf.
1. How many face-to-face meetings were requested by pensioners in Perth constituency in their dealings with the pension service in Dundee in each year since 1997; how many requests were granted: how many have taken place at the home of the pensioner; and what record is kept of such requests. 2. How many (a) full-time and (b) part-time staff are employed at the Dundee Pension Centre broken down (i) by (A) managerial and (B) non-managerial posts and (ii) by civil service grades. 3. On what occasions since November 2002 have staffing levels in Dundee Pension Centre been increased to cover busy periods and by what amount. 4. What the criteria employed by the Pension Centre based in Dundee are when referring pensioners and the pension service based in Newcastle; and in what percentage of cases has such a referral been made since November 2002.
I am unable to answer fully all of these questions as we either do not gather the data or do not retain it over lengthy time periods. I have provided answers where possible and where not have explained the context or reason.
The Pension Service was launched in April 2002 and began moving work to Dundee Pension Centre on 20 April 2002.
The Dundee Pension Centre does not keep records of the number of face-to-face meetings specifically requested by pensioners. General records of referrals for visit are kept for 3 months and then destroyed but it is not possible to distinguish from these whether the visit was requested at the instigation of the customer, or by us.
There has been a staged programme of recruitment at Dundee Pension Centre in line with the movement of workloads from exporting sites. I have set out the information requested on staffing in the annex attached.
Between February and October 2002, there were 432 staff recruited, with an additional 65 new staff recruited between April and May 2003. This additional recruitment is to support anticipated additional work to deliver Pension Credit.
The Dundee Pension Centre processes all claims for Retirement Pension from customers living in Perth Constituency, amongst others. Where a customer wishes their Retirement Pension to be paid by direct payment into their hank account, their account is maintained by our centre in Newcastle. Information is not available about the number of cases dealt with by Dundee Pension Centre that have requested direct payment of Retirement Pension. Nationally, fifty per cent of pensioners currently have their benefit paid direct into a bank account.
I am sorry that I have been unable to answer all your questions fully but hope that what I have been able to provide assists you.
Dundee Pension Centre Staffing Levels—Managerial
|Unified Grade 6||Full time||1|
|Senior Executive Officer||Full time||3|
|Higher Executive Officer (HEO)||Full time||10|
|Executive Officer (EO)||Full time||70|
|EO||Full time/part year||1|
|Total full-time managerial staff||85|
|EO||Part time/part year||3|
|Total part-time managerial staff||10|
|Total managerial staff||95|
Dundee Pension Centre Staffing Levels—Non-managerial
|Adjudication Officer (AO)||Full time||366|
|Administrative Assistant (AA)||Full time||27|
|AA Casual||Full time||40|
|Total full-time non-managerial staff||433|
|AO||Part time/part year||3|
|Total part-time non-managerial staff||40|
|Total non-managerial staff||473|