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Pensions

Volume 407: debated on Monday 23 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people were (a) contracted out and (b) not contracted out of the state earnings-related pension scheme or the state second pension in each year since 1994—95. [121245]

I refer the hon. Member to the written answer my right hon. Friend the Member for Makerfield (Mr. McCartney) gave him on 26 November 2002, Official Report, columns 210–12W.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will propose amendments to section 50 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 to ensure that future pension up-ratings are at least in line with the Retail Prices Index. [121246]

We have already announced that we will increase the basic state pension by 2.5 per cent. or the Retail Prices Index (RPI), whichever is higher, for the remainder of this Parliament. Over the last three years, basic state pension has been increased by more than the RPI.Section 150 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 already provides for the Secretary of State to review the amount payable in respect of pensions and to increase them in line with the general level of prices.