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25 Jan 2005 : Column 296W—continued


Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on his Department's policy regarding the retention of e-mails in electronic form (a) after and (b) up to 1 January 2005; and what instructions have been given regarding the deletion of e-mails prior to 1 January 2005. [206949]

Maria Eagle: I refer the hon. Member to the written answers I gave the hon. Member for Guildford, (Sue Doughty) on 21 December 2004 Official Report colums 1727–1728W and 10 January 2005, Official Report column 111W.

Glasgow Pension Centre

Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent discussions he has had with representatives from the Public and Commercial Services union on the future of the Glasgow pension centre. [209658]

Malcolm Wicks: My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State has regular meetings with PCS officials to discuss and listen to their views and concerns about a wide range of issues facing the Department, including the efficiency challenge. These are generally national issues and therefore, do not focus on individual centres.

However, since January 2004, The Pension Service has held regular meetings with their Pensions Trade Union Representatives to consult and share information on The Pension Service transformation programme. The criteria for selecting sites that would form the future pension service organisation, and the outcome for London Pension Centre (Glasgow), has been included as part of this dialogue.


Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the (a) newspapers and (b) periodicals taken by his Department in each year since 1997; and how much the Department spent on each in each year. [207641]

Maria Eagle: DWP was formed in June 2001 from the former Department of Social Security and parts of the former Department for Education and Employment, including the Employment Service. Information for the periods prior to June 2001 is not available.

Information on the amount spent in each financial year from 2001 onwards is in the following table.
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Financial yearNewspaper spendPeriodical spend

(11) Included in periodical spend

A list of newspapers and periodicals purchased in financial year 2003–04 has been placed in the Library. Information on titles purchased prior to 2003–04 is not available.

Parking Spaces

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many car parking spaces are provided for those working in and visiting his Department. [208938]

Maria Eagle: The Department for Work and Pensions occupies approximately 1,800 properties. Latest figures show that the total number of parking spaces available at buildings occupied by DWP staff is 35,428.

Where there is joint occupancy of properties, spaces are generally available to other occupants. Information on spaces designated specifically for DWP staff or visitors is not collected centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Pension Credit

Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners in (a) London and (b) Tower Hamlets are in receipt of the savings element of pension credit; what the average award is for each; and what proportion those figures represent of (i) the total number of pensioners and (ii) his estimate of the total number of eligible pensioners in each area. [209643]

Malcolm Wicks: Information on the number of recipients of the savings element of pension credit in the London Government Office Region (GOR) and in Tower Hamlets at 31 October 2004 is given in the following table. The average award of the savings element in the London GOR at the end of August 2004, the latest date for which this figure is available, was £8.01. The average award in Tower Hamlets at the same date was £8.26. Eligibility estimates for the individual elements of pension credit are not available for either GORs or local authority areas.
Recipients of savings element of pension credit, London GOR and Tower Hamlets, 31 October 2004

HouseholdsIndividual recipientsIndividual recipients as a percentage of total population aged 60 or over
London GOR137,230159,88513.7
Tower Hamlets4,1354,86520.1

1. Numbers of recipients are rounded to the nearest five.
2. Individual recipients include a small number of partners under age 60.
3. The numbers of households and individuals in receipt of the savings element include those who were receiving the savings element only and those who were receiving both the savings and guarantee elements.
4. Pension credit figures are available for 31 October 2004 as the final output of processes that were put in place to deliver special monthly reporting during the first year of the roll-out of pension credit. As Parliament was told in the statement accompanying the last such report, data will in future be available on a quarterly basis, in line with standard departmental practice.
5. Numbers of people aged 60 or over are based on the mid-2003 population estimates for England and Wales.
6. Average awards are based on a 5 per cent. sample as at August 2004. These figures are subject to a degree of sampling variation.

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Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to increase the take-up of pension credit. [209933]

Malcolm Wicks: The Pension Service continues to devote considerable effort and resources to increasing levels of Pension Credit take-up. We have already written at least once to every pensioner household in the country to tell them about Pension Credit and encourage them to apply. We are re-contacting directly, by mail, telephone or personal visit, those people whom we believe particularly likely to be eligible. New, targeted marketing campaigns have been developed which seek to overcome the barriers which might prevent take-up of Pension Credit and the reasons which people give for not applying, and further national television advertising began on 17 January. The Pension Service Local Service continues to work in partnership with local authorities and the voluntary sector, particularly in identifying and contacting older people who are vulnerable or who have yet to take up their entitlement

Mr. Fisher: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what proportion of pensioners in Stoke-on-Trent are in receipt of pension credit; [210866]

(2) how many pensioners in Stoke-on-Trent are in receipt of pension credit. [210867]

Malcolm Wicks: At 31 October 2004, 13,880 pensioner households in Stoke-on-Trent, comprising 16,970 individuals, were in receipt of pension credit. The number of individual recipients represented approximately 34 per cent. of the total population aged 60 or over in Stoke-on-Trent.


Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 17 January 2005, Official Report, column 777W, on pensions, what the percentage rates of contracted-out rebates for
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appropriate personal pensions are for (a) 2002–03 and (b) 2004–05 for a person aged (i) 40 and (ii) 50 years; and if he will make a statement. [211069]

Malcolm Wicks: The information is in the table:
Percentage rates of contracted-out rebates for appropriate personal pensions

Annual Earnings BandsAge 40Age 50
3,900 to 10,80010.8019.80
10,801 to 24,6002.704.95
24,601 to 29,9005.409.90
4,004 to 11,20010.6017.80
11,201 to 25,6002.654.45
25,601 to 30,9405.308.9

Contracted-out rebates for appropriate personal pensions are set at a level intended to reflect the value of the SERPS/State Second Pension benefit given up. SERPS was introduced in 1978 and so affected employed earners born in 1962 or later(i.e. those aged 40 in 2002–03. So, for those born before 1962, successively younger people have a lower SERPS/state second pension accrual rate. As a result, although the rebate for any one individual increases year on year until the cap bites, someone aged 46 in 2003–04 would have received a lower rebate rate in that year than someone aged 46 received in the preceding tax year.

This information is set out in the Government Actuary's rebate consultation document for the last review of the rebates which set the rates for the period 2002- 03 to 2006–07. Also the report to Parliament when the rebate orders were laid, Cm 5076, particularly the table on page 12. These are available on the Government Actuary Department's (GAD) website.

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