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Volume 712: debated on Thursday 9 July 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether HM Treasury will publish an annual pensions statement showing national insurance contributions and pensions paid out. [HL4642]

The Government Actuary Department publishes an annual report on the Social Security Benefits Up-rating Order and the Social Security (Contributions) (Re-rating) Order. This report includes estimates for payments from and receipts into the National Insurance Fund. The most recent report was published by the Government's Actuary Department in January 2009.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of any relationship between employment levels and the provision of pensions by the state. [HL4644]

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of any relationship between tax incentive schemes which aim to increase employment and the provision of pensions by the state. [HL4645]

The requested information is not available.

However, the Government recognise that increasing employment and reducing unemployment and inactivity are key to driving economic growth and improving prosperity.

Work, for those who can, remains the best and most sustainable route out of poverty. We continue to target extra resources on people who are at the greatest disadvantage while being careful not to reduce their incentives to work.

The Government understand the importance of a balance between the working and retired populations so that the state pensions system can continue to be supported. That is why the reform programme outlined in the Pensions Acts of 2007 and 2008 is vital for the long-term sustainability of the system. Gradually raising the state pension age means that pensioners will account for just over a fifth of the population from 2025, a proportion that remains broadly stable to 2055.

The reforms strike a balance between protection from poverty and encouraging saving, in a way that is sustainable for tax payers.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on retired teachers of their pensions authority's reduction in pensions payments of up to 12 per cent to compensate for previous overpayments. [HL4812]

To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they will take to alleviate any hardship faced by retired teachers as a result of the reduction in their pensions of up to 12 per cent. [HL4813]

It is not possible to assess the individual income of affected members, and therefore the impact of the pension reduction, because the teachers' pension may provide only a small percentage of the teacher pensioner's income. All teacher pensioners received a 5 per cent increase in their pension from April 2009, which was taken into account in determining the timing of their reduction.

The teachers' pension administrator has issued guidance to all affected teacher pensioners living in the UK containing details of different agencies that can offer help and support. Pensioners who had the largest percentage reduction in pension were also offered a visit from the Department for Work and Pensions to review whether they are entitled to further benefits.