Skip to main content

Departmental Pensions

Volume 450: debated on Tuesday 10 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many pensions his Department has recently overpaid; what total amount such overpayments represent; what proportion of these overpayments his Department expects to recover; and if he will make a statement. (82009)

The Department for International Development (DFID) is responsible for pension costs for staff leaving on early departure grounds only (excluding ill health retirement). The Department is responsible for meeting the full costs of compensation, including the early payment of pensions until age 60. We are not aware of any recent overpayments of these pensions.

Capita Hartshead is responsible for paying all civil service pensions after age 60. Capita Hartshead provides this service under contract to the Cabinet Office who are the managers of the civil service pension schemes.

Pension awards for DFID staff who are members of the civil service pension arrangements are calculated by our pensions administrator, Paymaster. The awards are based on information on salary and service provided by DFID to Paymaster. We are not aware of any errors in the awards calculated.

DFID does however pay pensions to former colonial public servants and their dependants. The following tables show the number of overpaid pensions recorded together with those recovered, written off and actively being pursued: (a) in the financial year 2005-06 and (b) in the current financial year, for the period to 31 July.

By far the majority of recorded overpayments relate to part month recoveries resulting from death notifications being received after the current month’s pension payment had been made, almost all of which are recovered in a short period of time. Overpaid pensions represent only a very small percentage of the total value of pensions paid.

Financial year 2005-06

Number

Value (£)

Overpayments

455

260,650.55

Recovered

338

219,533.92

Being pursued

96

15,133.42

Written off

21

25,983.21

Financial year 2006-07 (to 31 July 2006)

Number

Value (£)

Overpayments

181

90,406.14

Recovered

61

60,240.17

Being pursued

115

27,855.63

Written off

5

2,310.34

Note: In 2005-06 DFID made a total of 219,004 colonial pension payments to a value of £114.8 million. The equivalent figures for 2006-07 (to July 2006) are 70,105 and £37.2 million respectively.