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Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the take-up rate of the basic state pension is. 
Malcolm Wicks: People will become entitled to a state pension if they meet the qualifying conditions. However, there is no statutory requirement for them to claim their state pension at state pension age. Some people may choose to defer claiming their state pension.
The latest available figures for Great Britain show that the total number of people of state pension age or over is 10,743,338 of whom 10,420,000 are in receipt of a state pension.
The number in receipt of a basic state pension is taken from a 5 per cent. sample and is therefore subject to a high degree of sampling variation. The figure is rounded to the nearest hundred.
1. Population informationOffice for National Statistics and General Register Office Scotland (population estimates as at mid-2003).
2. Numbers in receipt of a basic state pension IAD Information Centre, 5 per cent. sample as at 31 March 2004.
Sir Archy Kirkwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of women in (a) the Scottish Borders, (b) Scotland and (c) Great Britain are entitled to the full basic state pension in their own right. 
Malcolm Wicks: The percentage of the female population in (a) the Scottish Borders (b) Scotland and (c) Great Britain who get a full Category A basic State Pension in their own right is in the following table:
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what expenditure on contracted-out rebates went on (a) approved personal pensions, (b) stakeholder pensions, (c) contracted-out money purchase schemes and (d) defined benefit pensions in each year since 1997. 
Malcolm Wicks: The information is in the following table:
|Estimated cost of rebates|
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many stakeholder pensions are (a) contracted into and (b) contracted out of the state second pension. 
Malcolm Wicks: Figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) show that 2,195,521 stakeholder pensions have been sold up to the end of September 2004. Information on numbers contracted out through stakeholder pensions for the tax years 200102 and 200203 will be available later this month.
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the financial effects arising from the proposed change in the retirement age in the first five years after the change. 
Malcolm Wicks: The Government are considering what to do about employer's retirement ages in response to the Age Matters consultation and other consultations. The assessment of proposals and options on which the Government consulted are in the Age Matters consultation. Costs and benefits are contained in the Regulatory Impact Assessment. Both are available in the Library.
Mr. Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have received winter fuel payments in Bolton, North East. 
Malcolm Wicks: The number of people in Bolton, North East who received a winter fuel payment in winter 200304 was 17,575. We would expect the number for winter 200405 to be similar.
2. Local authorities and parliamentary constituencies are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant ONS postcode directory.
Mr. Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have requested application forms for winter fuel payments via e-mail since the facility became available. 
Malcolm Wicks: Up to 5 December 2004 there have been 846 requests for winter fuel payment application forms via e-mail.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost of the winter fuel payment advertising and publicity campaign has been in each year since its introduction. 
We carry out a publicity campaign each year to inform people about winter fuel payments. This usually comprises advertising, production and distribution of an information leaflet together with accompanying posters and mailings to advisers and other third parties, in line with the objectives of each year's campaign.
8 Dec 2004 : Column 576W
The table sets out total publicity costs for each winter fuel payments campaign since 2001, the year in which the Department for Work and Pensions was created.
Due to differences in the way winter fuel payments publicity was developed and funded before the Department was set up it is not possible to obtain like-for-like figures prior to 2001 without incurring disproportionate costs.
These figures are exclusive of VAT.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the assumptions were behind the fall in the projected cost of winter fuel payments in 200607 and 200708 compared with previous years. 
Malcolm Wicks: The commitments to increase winter fuel payments from £150 to £200 a year and to pay an additional £100 to households with someone aged 80 or over were both made for the lifetime of this Parliament. The projected costs of winter fuel payments in 200607 and 200708 reflect this.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) people and (b) households in the (i) North Southwark and Bermondsey and (ii) Dulwich and West Norwood constituencies were (A) eligible to receive and (B) received the winter fuel payment in 200304. 
Malcolm Wicks: It is not possible to provide an accurate estimate of the number of people in the North Southwark and Bermondsey and Dulwich and West Norwood constituencies who were eligible to receive a winter fuel payment. DWP administrative data does not contain complete information on household circumstances and payments are based on household composition.
The information on payments made is in the table.
|Number of people who received a winter fuel payment in|
|Number of households that received a winter fuel payment in 200304|
|North Southwark and|
|Dulwich and West|
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