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14 Dec 2005 : Column 1998W—continued


Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) contributors and (b) customers credited with contributions there were in the state second pension scheme (i) in total and (ii) in each (A) region and (B) county in each year since 2002–03; and what percentage of the working age population this represented in (1) the UK and in (2) each (y) region and (z) county. [34405]

Mr. Timms: In 2002–03 approximately 20 million people, representing 55 per cent. of the working age population started to accrue entitlement to the state second pension. This figure is made of 15.9 million people in work, 1.9 million carers and 2.2 million long term disabled people. No breakdown of these figures is available by region or county.

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the total cost of (a) the basic state pension, (b) state second pension and (c) pension credits was in the last year for which figures are available; what percentage of gross domestic product that figure represents; and what the projected figures are in each case for (i) 2010, (ii) 2020, (iii) 2030, (iv) 2040 and (v) 2050. [34787]

Mr. Timms: The information is as follows.
Great Britain, £ million, real terms, 2005–06 prices

(a) Basic state pension/basic retirement pension
(b) State second pension/state
earnings-related pension
(c) Pension credit
ExpenditurePercentage of GDPExpenditurePercentage of GDPExpenditurePercentage of GDP

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The following information relates to expenditure in Great Britain which the Department for Work and Pensions, is responsible for. Information relating to Northern Ireland is available from the Northern Ireland office.

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many single women pensioners in Tamworth constituency are receiving financial assistance to bring them up to the minimum pension level. [35674]

Mr. Timms: At June 2005, 500 single female pensioners in Tamworth parliamentary constituency were in receipt of the guarantee credit element of pension credit.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent representations he has received about stakeholder pensions; and what reviews his Department has undertaken on stakeholder pensions since they were introduced. [36899]

Mr. Timms: The Department receives a range of correspondence on pension issues including stakeholder pension inquiries but there have been no recent representations specifically on stakeholder pension policy.
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Prior to the introduction of stakeholder pensions in April 2001, the Government advised that it would undertake a review of a number of provisions contained in the Stakeholder Pension Regulations 2000 after they had been in operation for three years. This review was concluded in October 2004, and after careful consideration, it was decided that no changes were necessary at that time. It was, however, recognised that developments in train in the wider pensions field might have a bearing on those provisions and that it might be necessary to look at them again at some point over the coming years.

Following the Sandier report in July 2002, which looked at medium and long-term retail savings in the UK, we reviewed the stakeholder pensions charge cap. This resulted in the annual management charge being revised from 1 per cent. of the value of the fund a year to 1.5 per cent. for the first 10 years of membership, reducing to 1 per cent. thereafter for stakeholder pension policies bought on or after 6 April 2005. We also introduced the requirement for providers to offer lifestyling, the process where at least five years before retirement the members pension savings are gradually moved into less volatile arrangements.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have taken up stakeholder pensions in each year since their introduction; and what the average contribution by (a) employers and (b) individuals has been in each year. [37530]

Mr. Timms: The information available is in the following tables:

Calendar year
Number of stakeholder pensions opened

(11) April to December.
1. Figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI)
2. Figures rounded to the nearest 1,000.


Tax year
(a) Average annual employer contribution(b) Average annual individual contribution

The average annual employer contribution has been extrapolated from the average annual individual contribution to stakeholder pensions.
(a) HMRC: These estimates provided are based on third party information. The data is for the full year and does not include a scheme start date, so where a scheme was started in-year, although the contributions would only have been made for part of the year they have been averaged over 12 months. Therefore the estimate will not reflect the true annual average if the scheme had operated for a full year. This is particularly true for stakeholder pensions in their first year 2001–02.
(b) Personal and stakeholder pensions. Number of individuals contributing and average contribution by status and earned income. HM Revenue and Customs Table 7.10. Contributions will include those from employers, the national insurance rebate (also known as the minimum contribution"), as well as individuals' contribution.

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