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State Retirement Pensions

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) when he will publish details of the scheme under the Pensions Act 2008 allowing people to buy back additional years of Class 3 National Insurance contributions; from what date the new Act will apply; and if he will make a statement; (255299)

(2) whether he plans to (a) publish explanatory literature, (b) establish a telephone help contact point and (c) provide other public information on the terms of the scheme under the Pensions Act 2008 for people to buy back additional years of Class 3 national insurance contributions; what personalised advice services will be provided to individuals on making such payments; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 9 February 2009]: On 24 October the Government announced that certain people reaching state pension age between 6 April 2008 and 5 April 2015 could pay up to six extra years of voluntary class 3 national insurance contributions for tax years from 1975, providing they already have 20 qualifying years (including full years of home responsibilities protection). This measure was contained in the 2008 Pensions Act.

Information about the measure is available on the Pension Service website at:

www.thepensionservice.gov.uk/state-pension/basic/faqs.asp

That information can also be accessed from the HM Revenue and Customs website. We will update the information before the measure comes into force on 6 April 2009. I am placing a copy in the Library.

The Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue and Customs are also currently working together to agree business procedures for the measure and what changes may be needed to leaflets, letters and forms.