Skip to main content

Pensioners

Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his estimate is of the amount spent by his Department, including the costs spent on administration costs, responding to requests from pensioners who live abroad and have their pensions frozen in each year since 2001-02; and if he will make a statement. (83378)

Information that is available is in the following tables. We are unable to provide costs prior to 2004-05.

Costs for 2004005 and 2005-06

£million

2004-05

2005-2006

Total

Frozen state pension paid to pensioners living abroad

870.58

900.17

1770.75

Direct costs to administer frozen state pensions for pensioners who live abroad.

3.6

3.8

7.4

Total

874. 18

903.97

1778.15

Costs For The First Three Months Of The Financial Year 2006-07

£million

2006-07

Frozen state pension paid to pensioners living abroad

232.69

Direct costs to administer frozen state pensions for pensioners who live abroad.

1.0

Total

233.69

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what pilot projects have been funded as part of the initiative announced in the 1997 pre-Budget report to encourage the improved take-up of benefits by pensioners; how many projects were given long-term funding; and how many pensioners were involved in the pilot projects. (85560)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 11 July 2006, Official Report, column 1754W, on pensions reform, if he will add a column to the table provided in the answer showing comparable data assuming the Pension Commission’s proposals were implemented in total. (86518)

The figures presented in the 11 July 2006, Official Report, column 1753W refer to people reaching state pension age. They consequently will not be affected by including the assumption of the full implementation of the Pensions Commission proposals—i.e. to include the payment of a full basic state pension to all people aged 75 and over.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people are in receipt of (a) state pension and (b) pension credits in each nation and region of the UK; and what total spending was on each benefit in the latest period for which figures are available. (86512)

Information that is available relating to the state pension caseload and number of individual beneficiaries of pension credit in Great Britain on 31 November 2005 is in the following table. Information relating to Northern Ireland is the responsibility of my hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Government office region

State pension caseload

Pension credit—individual beneficiaries

North East

481,080

193,790

North West

1,252,520

432,360

Yorkshire and the Humber

926,680

321,090

East Midlands

799,720

241,310

West Midlands

990,990

345,030

East of England

1,052,410

274,090

London

950,070

344,550

South East

1,520,840

336,510

South West

1,073,570

273,700

Wales

588,310

197,990

Scotland

942,970

337,800

Source: DWP Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study

The total estimated spending on state pensions and pension credit in 2005-06 is in the following table.

£ million, nominal terms, estimated outturn

Basic state pension

43,029

Additional state pension

8,243

Non-contributory state pension

31

Total state pension expenditure

51,303

Pension credit - guarantee credit

5,402

Pension credit - savings credit

1,019

Total pension credit expenditure

6,420

Notes: 1. Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest 10 and some additional disclosure control has been applied. 2. Expenditure figures are rounded to the nearest million pounds. 3. Totals may not sum due to rounding. 4. The number of individual beneficiaries includes both claimants and their partners. Source: DWP Expenditure tables

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of total spending on the (a) basic state pension and (b) pension credit in each (i) country and (ii) region of the UK in (A) 2024, (B) 2034 and (C) 2044 (1) under the current arrangements and (2) under the Government’s proposed pension reforms. (86514)

The information is not available in the format requested. Tables 1 and 2 show the total expenditure on basic state pension and pension credit respectively for the UK.

Under our reforms, more people will be getting state pensions based on their national insurance records, and there will be a more generous basic state pension due to the restoration of the earnings link. This provides a solid foundation for private saving. Incentives are further enhanced by reducing the growth of the savings credit.

Increase in the basic state pension leads to higher incomes for pensioners and as a consequence reduces the spending on pension credit. The reduction in pension credit as a result of the overall reform package can be seen in table 2. Column 2 of the table shows the level of spending without the White Paper reforms while column 3 shows spending after reforms.

Table 1 shows total expenditure under current basic state pension policies, and under the proposed reforms.

Table 1: Expenditure on basic state pension

£ billion, 2006-07 prices

Without reform

With reform

2024

62.5

77.5

2034

75.9

109.7

2044

81.0

137.7

Table 2 shows total expenditure under different pension credit policies, all of which assume the stated policy of uprating the standard guarantee with earnings until 2008: the current system projected forward with the standard guarantee uprated by prices after 2008; the same scenario but with the standard guarantee uprated with earnings after 2008; and the projected outcomes under the White Paper reforms.

Table 2: Expenditure on pension credit

£ billion, 2006-07 prices

Without reform, standard guarantee price-linked from 2008

Without reform, standard guarantee earnings-linked from 2008

With reform

2024

1.9

13.0

5.9

2034

1.1

21.2

3.8

2044

0.9

36.1

4.6

Notes: 1. Costs or savings presented in the table are based on long-term projections of United Kingdom benefit expenditure consistent with the Budget report 2006, and estimated expenditure effects of the proposed reforms. 2. Table 2 estimates of expenditure are dependent on projections of numbers receiving pension credit in the future. These projections are subject to a range of uncertainties and a number of factors including policies on uprating different benefits and assumptions on rates of take-up. The assumptions applied here are consistent with those that underpin published long-run expenditure projections. 3. Table 1 includes, in the ‘With reform’ column, earnings uprating the basic state pension, improving coverage, and the effects of state pension age increases. 4. Table 2 includes, in the ‘With reform’ column, continued earnings uprating of the standard guarantee; the savings credit maximum is uprated by earnings from 2008 and then by prices from 2015; earnings uprating of the basic state pension from 2012; measures to improve coverage of the basic state pension and reforms to the state second pension described in the White Paper. 5. Figures exclude the effect of personal accounts. 6. Figures include the effects on expenditure on the basic state pension and on pension credit arising from increases in the state pension age as set out in the White Paper.