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Departmental Pensions

Volume 448: debated on Thursday 6 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will estimate the pension liability of his Department over the next 30 years. (75274)

A technical note by HM Treasury which was placed in the Library of the House on 2 March 2006 following an oral statement in Parliament by the then Chief Secretary to the Treasury, 2 March 2006, Official Report, columns 388-390.

Pension liabilities are not estimated for individual Departments, they are estimated for individual pension schemes, as shown in the breakdown of liabilities per pension scheme given in table 1 of the technical note. The technical note covers all the major schemes.

The technical note provides detailed information about the size and nature of the liabilities and how they are calculated. Pension liabilities represent obligations already incurred which will fall due to be met over many decades, up to 80 years or more. Neither Government nor private sector pension providers engage in speculation about additional liabilities that might be incurred in future years.