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23 Jan 2006 : Column 1826W—continued

Kvaerner Pension Fund

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what discussions he has had with Kvaerner on the Kvaerner pension fund. [38470]

Mr. Timms: None.

Leaked Letter

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what evidence his Department has given to the Treasury inquiry into the leaking of a letter from theChancellor of the Exchequer to Lord Turner in November 2005; and if he will make a statement. [41343]

Mr. Timms: The Department has undertaken an investigation and provided a report for the Treasury inquiry.

New Deal

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work andPensions how much was spent on the New Deal in each year from 1997–98; how much has been allocated for each year to 2008–09; and if he will make a statement. [41289]

Margaret Hodge: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to him on 12 January 2006, Official Report, column 807W.

Occupational Health

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on progress on the implementation of the national strategy for occupational health. [37169]

Mrs. McGuire: We published, in conjunction with the Secretary of State for Health and the Chair of the Health and Safety Commission, the strategy Health, Work and Well-being—Caring for our future" on 19 October. This strategy is a crucial part of delivering on the Government's commitment to improving the health and well-being of the working age population.

Since its publication, ministerial colleagues and officials from all three organisations have been working hard to turn the strategy into actions which will make a real difference.

Central to the strategy's success is a commitment to partnership working and one of the three key themes is Engaging Stakeholders". Plans for a range of stakeholder activities are well under way, including the organisation of a stakeholder summit involving all those with a part to play in improving and promoting the health and well-being of people of working age.

We are also finalising arrangements for the recruitment of a national Director for Occupational Health which we intend to advertise shortly.

Pathways to Work

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what work mental health workers in Pathways to Work pilot areas undertake with participants; and if he will make a statement. [38252]

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Margaret Hodge: A key aim of the Condition Management Programme (CMP) is to help customers to manage their own condition and help them to focus on their potential to work. It is a cognitive educational programme rather than a treatment regime.

All customers receive an individual assessment and are informed about the options available to them. A personal action plan is also developed with the customer and includes information on the available health interventions.

Customers with mental health conditions typically receive support through cognitive behavioural therapy programmes. These are supported across the pilots by specific programmes such as 'Beating the Blues' in West Lancashire.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what feedback he has received from those involved in the Pathways to Work Scheme on the scheme's effectiveness in getting those on incapacity benefit back to work. [40762]

Margaret Hodge: The Department has undertaken qualitative research with Personal Advisers (PAs) and incapacity benefit claimants. The results of that research are set out in the reports 'Incapacity Benefit Reforms; the Personal Adviser Role and Practices: Stage Two', 'National Centre for Social Research, DWP report no. 268, September 2005' and 'IB Reforms Pilot: Findings from a longitudinal panel of clients, Social Policy Research Unit, DWP report no. 259, July 2005', copies of which are in the Library.

Pension Protection Fund

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many of the companies operating pension schemes which are now in an assessment period for the Pension Protection Fund had experienced an insolvency event before 6 April 2005; and how many individuals are members of those schemes. [42531]

Mr. Timms: The board of the Pension Protection Fund Board advises that of the 40 schemes currently in assessment, six had insolvency events prior to 6 April 2005, and entry to the assessment period was obtained via a second insolvency event. Every scheme that is in assessment has had an insolvency event later than 5 April 2005.

These six schemes have 2,154 members (about ten per cent. of members in assessment).


Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average age of retirement in the Ribble Valley was in each of the last 10 years. [43163]

Mr. Timms: The information requested is not available.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many single women pensioners in Stroud constituency are receiving assistance to bring them up to the minimum pension level. [35113]

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Mr. Timms: At the end of September 2005 there were 2,000 single women pensioners in receipt of guarantee credit element of pension credit in the Stroud constituency.

1.Caseloads are rounded to the nearest hundred. 2.Data from the Generalised Matching Service (GMS) 100 per cent. scan taken on 16 September 2005. The figure has been rated up to give month-end estimates. 3.These figures are early estimates. Operational processing times mean that a number of claim commencements and terminations are not reflected in the figures. The final figures incorporated within the Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS) will take account of such cases. 4.Parliamentary constituencies are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant ONS postcode directory.

DWP Information Directorate 100 per cent. data.


Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of mean average earnings the single person's basic state pension represented in each year since the link between uprating and earnings was broken. [34643]

Mr. Timms: The information is in the table.
Full basic state pension as a percentage of mean average earnings

1.The link with earnings was broken in November 1980.
2.The average earnings figure is for full-time employees in the April of that year and has been taken from the New Earnings Survey prior to 1998 and from Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings since 1998.
3.The year refers to the year of uprating. From 1980 to 1985 this took place in November, in 1986 it occurred in July and since 1987 annual uprating has taken place in April.
2004 Annual Abstract of Statistics published by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the cost of using the same rules to credit people into entitlement to the state second
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pension as exist to credit people into entitlement for the basic state pension in (a) 2005–06, (b) 2010, (c) 2020, (d) 2030, (e) 2040 and (f) 2050; and how many (i) men and (ii) women he estimates would benefit in each year. [35376]

Mr. Timms: The information is not available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 7 December 2005, Official Report, column 1374W, on pensions, to the right hon. and learned Member for Kensington and Chelsea (Sir Malcolm Rifkind), if he will provide his latest estimate of the number of (a) pension scheme members who have lost pension savings as a result of their pension scheme winding up, (b) pension schemes which have completed the wind-up process since 1997 and which are not included in these figures and (c) people who have lost pension savings as a result. [38895]

Mr. Timms: With regard to part (a) and (c) of the question, the information is not available. The Government is currently inviting notifications from affected pension schemes to the Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS), and is therefore obtaining some information on the number of members facing pensions losses due to company insolvency. In due course, information will also be collected on individual members in schemes qualifying for FAS. Based on our most recent data collection for the FAS, we know of around 70,000 non pensioner members in schemes that are potentially eligible for assistance from the FAS as a result of their schemes being wound up in circumstances of insolvency or where the employer no longer exists.

With regard to part (b) of the question, information in the following table was provided by the Pensions Regulator and shows the number of schemes that have wound up each year since 2 April 1997. This includes all schemes that have wound up, whether fully funded or under funded. The Pensions Regulator only holds the present status of a scheme and only those schemes that have completed winding up procedures are included in these figures.
Effective date scheme status was
changed register to 'wound up'
Number of schemesTotal membership
2 April 1997 to 31 March 19988,24854,439
1 April 1998 to 31 March 19997,70871,351
1 April 1999 to 31 March 20008,46264,608
1 April 2000 to 31 March 20016,72065,510
1 April 2001 to 31 March 20025,822128,060
1 April 2002 to 31 March 20036,250145,039
1 April 2003 to 31 March 20046,316127,839
1 April 2004 to 31 March 20054,32878,878

1.A wound up scheme is one which has notified the Pensions Regulator (or its predecessor the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority) that it has completed winding up procedures.
2.Schemes are required to notify the Pensions Regulator of changes in scheme status as soon as is reasonably practical. This means that the data for the year ended 31 March 2005 is provisional.
3.The figures are based on information held on the register as at 11 January 2006. The effective date for the completion of wind up is based on the last scheme status change date.
4.Figures for 1997–8 commence on 2 April 1997 because, where the date at which the scheme completed winding up procedures, prior to 1 April 1997 cannot be ascertained, a default value of 1 April 1997 is used as the date on which the scheme wound up. As a result a very large number of schemes are recorded as wound up with a scheme status change date of 1 April 1997, even if they had wound up at some earlier date. Including schemes with this default date in the table would significantly overstate the number of schemes that wound up during 1997, so a start date of 2 April has been used for 1997–98.
5.Total membership includes active, deferred and pensioner members. It is not possible to provide a breakdown of these numbers.
6.During 2005–06 the Pensions Regulator will continue with its plans to issue a scheme return form to all occupational pension schemes that are registered in the UK. This will provide the Pension Regulator with access to enhanced data in future years.

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Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what discussions he has had with the (a) Chancellor of the Exchequer and (b) Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on transferring responsibility for overseeing public sector pensions to his Department. [44501]

Mr. Timms: My right hon. Friend has had no such discussions.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the cost of paying the basic state pension to all pensioners aged 75 years and above regardless of contributions (a) assuming an earnings link from 2010–11 and (b) continuing the present uprating policy in (i) each of the next four years, (ii) 2010, (iii) 2020, (iv) 2030, (v)2040 and (vi) 2050. [37114]

Mr. Timms: The information requested is as follows:

Part (a)
Great Britain
£ billion(51)

Gross costNet of IRBsNet of IRBs and tax

(51)2005–06 price terms.

Part (b)
Great Britain
£ billion(52)

Gross costNet of IRBsNet of IRBs and tax

(52)2005–06 price terms.
1.The policy change is assumed to take place from 2006–07. In part (a) the Basic State Pension (BSP) is assumed to be uprated by prices growth (including underpin) in 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10 and uprated by earnings growth from 2010–11. In part (b) it is assumed that the BSP would be uprated by prices growth (plus underpin).
2.Gross costs are estimated by the Government Actuary's Department and are consistent with the pre-Budget report 2005 assumptions.
3.Savings in income-related benefit (IRBs) such as pension credit and housing benefit, and potential increases in tax revenue, are estimated using the DWP policy simulation model and April 2006 benefit rates. Savings are assumed to be a constant proportion of the estimated gross cost over time.

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