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National Insurance

Volume 691: debated on Wednesday 9 May 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord McKenzie of Luton on 29 March (HL2934), why there are 27 million more national insurance numbers on the Department for Work and Pensions customer information system than the 49 million people over the age of 16 in the United Kingdom in 2005; and [HL3127]

Further to the Written Answer by Lord McKenzie of Luton on 29 March (HL2934), what steps they are taking to remove from the customer information system of the Department for Work and Pensions the national insurance numbers of persons who have died or for other reasons have ceased to work or live in the United Kingdom. [HL3129]

There are more national insurance numbers (NINOs) on the DWP customer information system than there are persons aged over 16 in the UK because we need to retain the national insurance contribution records of those who are deceased and those who have moved abroad.

The number of NINOs held on the customer information system increases each year due to the allocation of numbers to young people reaching the age of 16 and adults from abroad who require a NINO for employment or benefit purposes.

Once a NINO is allocated, it needs to remain on the customer information system. That is because it links individuals to their contribution record, which in turn determines entitlement to benefits and pension for the individual. In the case of deceased individuals, a partner may make a claim for a contributory benefit, which is dependent on the contribution record of the deceased individual.

DWP is undertaking a significant exercise to provide an accurate breakdown of the category of national insurance numbers held on the customer information system, including accounts in active use, inactive accounts and those where a date of death is held. The work is due to report to Ministers at the end of May 2007, following examination of accounts held on Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs national insurance recording system.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What investigation is under way in the Department for Work and Pensions to establish how many of the 76,719,264 national insurance numbers currently held by the Department for Work and Pensions customer information system are in active use; what results the investigation has yielded so far; and whether a report will be made to Parliament. [HL3360]

The Department for Work and Pensions is undertaking a significant exercise to provide an accurate breakdown by category of national insurance numbers held on the customer information system, including accounts in active use, inactive accounts and those where a date of death is held. This work is due to report to Ministers at the end of May 2007 following examination of accounts held on Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs national insurance recording system.