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Greg Mulholland: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what mechanism is in place to ensure staff transferring from public to private sector under Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) terms have their pension rights protected; and whether he has made an assessment of the compliance of existing arrangements with the Governments guidance on, Staff Transfers in the Public Sector: A Statement of Practice. 
Mr. Timms: HM Treasury guidance: (Staff Transfers from Central Government: A Fair Deal for Staff Pensions) supplemented by further guidance issued in 2004 and Cabinet Office guidance: (Staff Transfers in the Public Sector Statement of Practice) remain in force. It is incumbent upon bodies or organisations transferring staff from the public sector to the private sector to be familiar with the guidance.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to pages 58 and 59 of the White Paper Security in Retirement; Towards a New Pensions System, what the evidential basis is for the statement that (a) 75 is the appropriate upper age limit for annuities and (b) annuities offer good value for money. 
Ed Balls: Latest Government Actuary Department (GAD) analysis shows that the guaranteed rates of return available on annuities by around age 75 become so large relative to other investments that increasingly unrealistic investment returns need to be achieved in order to match or do better than the income that could be achieved through an annuity. Any investment vehicle with an expected yield greater than an annuity after 75 would inevitably be both expensive and carry a significant degree of risk, which people in the later stages of life may be ill-equipped to bear. Of course the optimal age for individuals to annuitise before 75 will depend on a range of individual circumstances.
The mark-up paid to life insurersmeasured by the so-called moneys worth ratiois relatively small and fairly constant, thus suggesting that annuities are fairly priced.
These findings are in line with previous annuity pricing studies covering different countries and time periods. The full paper can be found at: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/rports2005-2006/rrep318. pdf, DWP research paper 318 AnnuitiesA Pricing Survey, Edmund Cannon and Ian Tonks.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the answer of 13 February 2006, Official Report, columns 1695-6W, on retirement age, if he will break down the estimated percentage probability by (a) female and (b) male workers; what assumptions have been used by the Government Actuarys Department in relation to the impact of the announced changes in early retirement rights on staff turnover levels; and if he will place in the Library the supporting data for the answer produced by the Government Actuarys Department. 
|Percentage of workers|
|(1) Includes all members who leave the scheme before normal retirement age, even those who subsequently rejoin and are members at normal retirement age.|
These figures are based on the analysis of staff turnover in the Government Actuarys Departments latest actuarial valuations of the teachers pension scheme (England and Wales) and the national health service pension scheme (England and Wales), which are available in the Library.
The assumed rates of turnover are derived from an analysis of the actual turnover experienced in the past. Allowance has been made for the strong link between resignation rates and duration of employment. Levels of staff turnover may be different in the future. The
introduction of new pension schemes for new entrants is one of many factors that will influence staff turnover; others include future economic conditions and the ease of mobility in the labour market. Given these uncertainties and the link between employment length and resignation no explicit allowance for the effect of introducing new public sector pension schemes was made in calculating the figures.
John Healey: The use of tallow in the production of biodiesel used as road fuel is supported through a duty incentive. Fuel produced from tallow is eligible for the rate of duty for biodiesel (currently 27.10p per litre) if it meets the legal definition of biodiesel for tax purposes set out in section 2AA of the Hydrocarbon Oil Duties Act 1979. In other cases it is liable to duty at 47.10p per litre.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the terms of reference are for the review of the management of the airspace over northern home counties of England being undertaken by the National Air Traffic Services. 
Derek Twigg: The British Transport Police (BTP) have provided the following data in relation to the number of assaults of (a) staff and (b) passengers on the rail network from 1 April 2005 to 31 March 2006.
|BTP area||Number of staff assaults|
|BTP area||Number of passenger assaults|
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many bus compliance officers there are in each region of England; how many orders restricting operators from running services in (a) 2004-05 and (b) 2005-06 were issued by traffic commissioners; and how many non-compliant bus operators were called to inquiry by traffic commissioners in the last 12 months. 
There were 21 non-compliant bus operators called to public inquiry in 2005-06 and in 2006-07 there have been three to 1 June. The number of non-compliant bus operators called to inquiry by traffic commissioners in the last 12 months can only be provided at disproportionate cost due to the way in which VOSA's figures have been recorded.
Gillian Merron: Rod Eddington has been asked to provide advice to the Chancellor and Secretary of State for Transport, and is not being remunerated for his work. He is supported by a team of 10 civil servants drawn from the Department for Transport and HM Treasury. Other admin and programme costs to date total approximately £190,000.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the proportion of freight containers in use in England and Wales that will become illegal as a result of the new European regulations on container dimensions. 
Dr. Ladyman: There are no new European regulations on general freight container dimensions. However, the carriage of certain types of container may be prohibited by Directive 96/53/EC which sets out, amongst other things, the maximum dimensions for goods vehicles when carrying freight containers.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) proportion of heavy goods vehicles on roads in England which were registered abroad in each of the last three years. 
Dr. Ladyman: Estimates of the number and proportion of foreign registered heavy goods vehicles on roads in England are not available. However, estimated numbers leaving the UK are published in table 1 of the quarterly bulletin Road Goods Vehicles Travelling to Mainland Europe. A copy of this bulletin is available on the DfT website at:
Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether foreign-registered heavy goods vehicles are required to have insurance cover comparable to that required of domestic-registered heavy goods vehicles. 
Dr. Ladyman: Yes; all motor vehicles when in use in the UK, including heavy goods vehicles registered abroad, must have insurance cover for third party liabilities meeting the minimum levels of cover required by Section 145 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he expects the improvements to Liverpool Lime Street Station to be completed in time for the 2008 European Capital of Culture celebrations. 
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the problems with the bridge on the slip road between the M56 and the A556 near Altrincham in Cheshire were first identified; how long the exploratory work has taken; and what estimate he has made of the likely date for the full reopening of the slip road. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Highways Agency first became aware of deficiencies in the bridge carrying the westbound exit sliproad at Junction 7 of the M56 motorway, following an assessment in 2001. This resulted in the installation of temporary supports and loading restrictions. Since 2001, the Agency has undertaken further detailed investigatory works to confirm the problem and determine the remedial solution required.
The latest phase in the investigatory work, undertaken between late February and mid June 2006, was to confirm the true extent of the defects and to refine the methods of working, in advance of the planned main refurbishment scheme. During these additional investigations, unexpected structural defects in the bridge were identified. As a result, traffic using the sliproad will continue to be restricted to a single lane, with a 40mph speed limit, for safety reasons. Short-term measures, and options for a permanent solution, are under consideration, and the timing of the resulting works will be subject to the scale of the work required and the availability of funding.
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