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Written Statements

Volume 636: debated on Wednesday 21 February 2018

Written Statements

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Treasury

Public Service Pension Indexation and Revaluation 2018

Legislation governing public service pensions requires them to be increased annually by the same percentage as additional pensions (state earnings-related pension and state second pension). Public service pensions will therefore be increased from 9 April 2018 by 3%, in line with the annual increase in the consumer prices index up to September 2017, except for those public service pensions which have been in payment for less than a year, which will receive a pro rata increase.

Separately, in the new career average public service pension schemes, pensions in accrual are revalued annually in relation to either prices or earnings depending on the terms specified in their scheme regulations. The Public Service Pensions Act 2013 requires HMT to specify a measure of prices and of earnings to be used for revaluation by these schemes.

The prices measure is the consumer prices index up to September 2017. Public service schemes which rely on a measure of prices, therefore, will use the figure of 3% for the prices element of revaluation.

The earnings measure is the whole economy average weekly earnings (non-seasonally adjusted and including bonuses and arrears) up to September 2017. Public service schemes which rely on a measure of earnings, therefore, will use the figure of 3% for the earnings element of revaluation.

Revaluation is one part of the amount of pension that members earn in a year and needs to be considered in conjunction with the amount of in-year accrual. Typically, schemes with lower revaluation will have faster accrual and therefore members will earn more pension per year. The following list shows how the main public service schemes will be affected by revaluation:

Scheme

Police

Fire

Civil Service

NHS

Teachers

LGPS

Armed forces

Judicial

Revaluation for active member

4.25%

3%

3%

4.5%

4.6%

3%

3%

3%

[HCWS474]

Exiting the European Union

Implementation Period Update

I am today publishing the UK’s response to the European Commission’s draft legal text on arrangements for the implementation period, copies of which will be deposited in the Libraries of both Houses.

[HCWS476]

Health and Social Care

NHS Charges

My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Health (Lord O’Shaughnessy) has made the following statement:

Regulations will shortly be laid before Parliament to increase certain national health service charges in England from 1 April 2018.

In the 2015 spending review, the Government committed to support the five year forward view with £10 billion investment in real terms by 2020-21 to fund frontline NHS services. Alongside this, the Government expect the NHS to deliver £22 billion of efficiency savings to secure the best value from NHS resources and primary care must play its part.

This year, therefore, we have increased the prescription charge by 20p from £8.60 to £8.80 for each medicine or appliance dispensed. To ensure that those with the greatest need, and who are not already exempt from the charge, are protected we have frozen the cost of the prescription prepayment certificates (PPC) for another year. The three-month PPC remains at £29.10 and the cost of the annual PPC will stay at £104. Taken together, this means prescription charge income is expected to rise broadly in line with inflation.

Charges for wigs and fabric supports will also be increased in line with inflation.

Details of the revised charges for 2018-19 can be found in the table below:

Charge from 1 April 2018 (£)

Prescription charges

Wigs and Fabric Supports

Single charge

£8.80

Three-month PPC (no change)

£29.10

12-month PPC (no change)

£104.00

Surgical brassiere

£28.85

Abdominal or spinal support

£43.60

Stock modacrylic wig

£71.25

Partial human hair wig

£188.70

Full bespoke human hair wig

£275.95

[HCWS475]

Prime Minister

Size of the House of Lords

On 20 December 2016, the Lord Speaker established a Committee to explore methods by which the size of the House of Lords can be reduced, commensurate with its current role and functions. The report of the Committee was published on 31 October 2017 and it was debated by the House of Lords on 19 December 2017.

Yesterday, I wrote to the Lord Speaker to set out my views on the Committee’s recommendations. The letter can be viewed online at:

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2018-02-21/HCWS473/.

[HCWS473]