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Pensions: Financial Assistance Scheme

Volume 684: debated on Tuesday 11 July 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the total cost of establishing and administering the financial administration scheme to date; what are the total payments made; and to how many beneficiaries.[HL6301]

The total cost for the financial years 2004-05 and 2005-06 was £5.79 million. Of this,£4.4 million reflects the one-off costs of designing and setting up the scheme. As at 23 June 2006, a total of £347,887.97 had been paid to 113 beneficiaries.

As part of the Government's White Paper Security in retirement: towards a new pensions system, published on 25 May, we announced our intention to extend eligibility to the financial assistance scheme to members of qualifying pension schemes who were within 15 years of their scheme's normal retirement age on 14 August 2004. We have also announced that we will review the administration of the scheme to ensure that all eligible people receive payments as quickly as possible. This review will report by the Summer Recess.