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Volume 473: debated on Wednesday 12 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many persons becoming entitled to state retirement pensions opted to defer their pension payments during the latest period for which figures are available; how many of them opted for (a) an increased weekly pension and (b) a lump sum; how many lump sum payments were delayed for over two weeks; and whether interest is payable in such cases. (187692)

Such information as is available is set out as follows.

In the 12 months to March 2007, there were a total of 50,800 people who successfully claimed either a lump sum or extra pension due in respect of a deferred state pension. This figure can be broken down further: 42,300 opted for an increased weekly pension, 4,300 opted for a lump sum payment only, and 4,100 opted to combine both increments and a lump sum.

The Pension Service has a policy to make payments as quickly as possible and does not have details of any payments subject to delays of more than two weeks. However, it is our policy that compensation in the form of interest is considered for any period of unnecessary or unreasonable delay beyond that for normal processing of the claim.


1. Data are taken from 5 per cent. extract of PSCS , therefore figures are subject to a degree of sampling variation. They are also adjusted to be consistent with the overall case load from the WPLS.

2. Case load figures are rounded to the nearest hundred, totals may not sum due to rounding

3. Includes overseas cases.

4. Figures include inherited increments and lump sums.

5. The option to take a lump sum was introduced in April 2006 but only for those deferring for a minimum of 12 months.