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27 Feb 2004 : Column 636W—continued

Retirement Age

Mr. Laws: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on his plans to raise the normal retirement age for firefighters; what estimate he has made of the savings from raising the normal retirement age and pension age to 65; and if he will make a statement. [156574]

Mr. Raynsford: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is reviewing pension arrangements for firefighters in accordance with the Government's White Paper "Our Fire and Rescue Service" (CM 5808), and in the light of the Department of Work and Pensions Green Paper (CM 5865). Proposals, which will reflect changes to the tax and policy framework for pensions, including on retirement and pension ages, have still to be formulated: consequently costings of possible savings to employers are not available. There will be consultation on the proposals that emerge.