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Personal Pensions

27. Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what representations he has received regarding the level at which age-related rebates for appropriate personal pensions should be set. [19728]

Mr. Heald: Representations from a range of interested parties were received in response to the Government Actuary's consultation paper issued in August 1995.

Benefit Replacement Ratios

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what information he holds on benefit replacement ratios in 1994-95; and if he will make a statement. [22056]

Mr. Andrew Mitchell: The information is in the table.

19 Mar 1996 : Column: 179

Figure 16--Replacement ratios for the working population(16)
Number with replacement ratios at or above each level (17), (18), (18)

1985(20) 1992-93(21) 1993-94(22) 1994-95(23)
000Per cent.000Per cent.000Per cent.000Per cent.
100 per cent.+600.55(24)110(24)--10(24)--
90 per cent.+2101.5350.3400.3350.3
80 per cent.+7305.21601.21751.31901.4
70 per cent.+1,87013.44453.24653.55053.8

(16) Calculated for benefit units selected from FES data where the head works 30 hours or more a week. Excludes the self-employed and pensioners. Estimates are cumulative.

(17) Caseloads are rounded to the nearest 5,000 (subject to a margin error of 20,000). Proportions are rounded to the nearest 0.1 per cent., and any change of 0.5 percentage points is statistically significant.

(18) Estimates assume full receipt of benefit entitlement both in and out of work and are based on income from all sources after housing costs. Figures for 1990-91 and 1991-92 incorporate the effects of the community charge benefit and the independent taxation of husbands and wives.

(19) Estimates for 1985 make arbitrary allowance for travel-to-work costs. However the use of a single figure to represent such costs is inadequate, and survey evidence suggests that up to one in three employees may have no travel to work costs. For those reasons, estimates for 1980-90 onwards make no allowance for travel to work costs.

(20) Extrapolated from the 1982, 1983 and 1984 family expenditure survey.

(21) Extrapolated from the 1987, 1988 and 1989 family expenditure survey.

(22) Extrapolated from the 1988, 1990 and 1991 family expenditure survey.

(23) Extrapolated from the 1990, 1991 and 1992 family expenditure survey.

(24) Indicates case load less than 0.1 per cent.


19 Mar 1996 : Column: 179

This replaces the information published in the 1995 departmental report which unfortunately was in error as a result of a computer modelling problem.

State Retirement Pension

17. Mr. Simon Coombs: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what estimate he has made of the cost of allowing people to claim a full state pension from the age of 60 years. [19715]

Mr. Heald: The estimated cost of allowing people to claim a full state pension from the age of 60 is £15 billion in 2025 and £12 billion in 2035.


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Mr. Chris Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what estimate he has made of the cost to the Exchequer of paying the state retirement pension on the day when the pensioner reaches pensionable age. [13142]

Mr. Heald: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Manchester, Withington (Mr. Bradley) on 23 October 1995, Official Report, columns 485-86. Unfortunately, there was a factual error in the reply. The correct information is as follows.

The estimated gross cost of paying state retirement pension from the day the pensioner reaches state pension age is £14 million.

This figure includes basic and additional pension and cases who are awarded after reaching minimum pension age.

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people's national insurance contributions record leaves them without entitlement to a full retirement pension; and how many of these are (a) women below retirement age and (b) women above retirement age. [20736]

19 Mar 1996 : Column: 181

Mr. Heald: At 31 March 1995, there were 4,642,330 people over state pension age whose national insurance contributions record leaves them without entitlement to a full retirement pension. Of these, 4,449,500 were women. The information is not available for people under state pension age.

Child Support

Mr. Peter Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what recent changes have been made to the system of child support; and if he will make a statement. [17007]

Mr. Andrew Mitchell: A number of changes have been made to the child support scheme over the past year. These include:


These changes have been made in the light of live running of the scheme in order to address the main areas of concern, avoid undue hardship for the parents involved and enable the Child Support Agency to operate more effectively.

19 Mar 1996 : Column: 182

Disability Living Allowance

Ms Lynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what assessment he has made of the extent to which hospitals are accumulating funds from the mobility component of the disability living allowance being received by patients. [16283]

Mr. Andrew Mitchell: Departmental officials had discussions with a number of NHS trusts throughout Great Britain last summer. These suggest that this was a considerable problem in the past but is now rare.

Incapacity Benefit

Mr. Bradley: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) how many examinations for the all-work test of capacity have been scheduled but have not yet taken place in each of the 11 medical services centres; [20165]

Mr. Burt: Information is not available in the format requested. At 31 January 1996, 319,449 incapacity benefit all-work test examinations had been performed. Available information for individual medical centres is given in the table.

19 Mar 1996 : Column: 181

April 1995May 1995June 1995July 1995August 1995September 1995October 1995November 1995December 1995January 1996Total
Birmingham(25)
Exams scheduled--------------------11,308
Exams performed--317401,7752,8164,4306,8037,6585,0406,83236,125
Failures to attend(26)--511493165508391,3171,6711,6221,9498,468
Bootle
Exams scheduled--------------------8,858
Exams performed--371,2712,5213,3523,8194,5504,7773,7584,85128,936
Failures to attend--7573995981,0491,1891,4411,1241,2917,155
Bristol
Exams schedules--------------------4,250
Exams performed--154651,3852,3832,6532,7572,9572,3943,03818,047
Failures to attend--7471934585757397006055893,913
Caridff
Exams scheduled--------------------10,893
Exams performed--08992,7243,9214,8804,5855,7473,8045,73432,294
Failures to attend--2754326239629481,1978951,2056,339
Edinburgh
Exams scheduled--------------------3,890
Exams performed--1128091,6661,8192,4212,7933,1582,3012,84717,926
Failures to attend--43641964134346275797043,024
Glasgow
Exams scheduled--------------------5,460
Exams performed--4351,9092,2413,6143,9114,6045,1293,9864,42330,252
Failures to attend--892484079381,2231,3331,5439701,5148,265
Leeds
Exams scheduled--------------------1,1301
Exams performed--621,6702,4914,0465,8746,0076,6775,0657,20539,097
Failures to attend--131292255951,0361,1931,6701,4161,3197,596
Manchester
Exams scheduled--------------------10,757
Exams performed--961,3382,0293,8204,4974,6974,8344,0086,06831,387
Failures to attend--41733364991,1991,0701,3951,3351,7697,780
Newcastle
Exams scheduled--------------------4,960
Exams performed--429131,5182,7243,6213,7363,9982,8864,35623,794
Failures to attend--21751823596496746014005323,493
Sutton
Exams scheduled--------------------8,081
Exams performed--321,0992,8643,4873,7154,1845,6163,9155,84530,757
Failures to attend--761743916229681,1531,3398481,0436,614
Wembley
Exams scheduled--------------------9,262
Exams performed--437412,2044,1904,6424,8225,1023,9665,12430,834
Failures to attend--151271998401,0411,4611,1679921,2437,085

(25)Figures include those for Nottingham.

(26)Number of examinations scheduled but not yet taken place as at 31 January.

1. Failures to attend relate to appointments rather than individual benefit claimants.


19 Mar 1996 : Column: 183

19 Mar 1996 : Column: 183


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