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Volume 704: debated on Friday 10 October 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What targets the Pension Service seeks to meet in dealing with new claims for the state pension; and what is its success rate. [HL5370]

For 2008-09, the target is to clear 95 per cent of new claims for state pension within 60 days. Year to date performance for August 2008 was 93.3 per cent. Performance for 2007-08 was 93.1 per cent.

Pension, Disability and Carers Service processes applications in advance of the date on which the first payment is due: customers are invited to make a claim four months before their retirement.

The state pension accuracy target for 2008-09 is to achieve a financial accuracy rate of 98 per cent on state pension new claims and change of circumstances.

Our year to date performance for August 2008 was 96.5 per cent. Performance in 2007-08 was 97.4 per cent. Improvement in accuracy is the current key priority for the service.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How soon after the Pensions Bill receives Royal Assent they intend to make regulations under Clause 136 of the Bill as amended in Committee of the Whole House (HL Bill 79) about energy consumers who are in receipt of state pension credit; and whether they will publish draft regulations in advance of the Bill receiving Royal Assent. [HL5391]

Clause 136 of the Pensions Bill enables the Secretary of State to set out in regulations details of how state pension credit data are to be shared with energy suppliers. We are working closely with energy suppliers, the Department for Energy and Climate Change, Defra and Ofgem to agree how the data-sharing process will work. We will lay the draft regulations as soon as possible after Royal Assent; they will be affirmative and therefore subject to full parliamentary scrutiny.