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James Purnell: The Pension Service has written to every pensioner household to tell them about pension credit. A direct mail initiative You're missing out was targeted at 1.5 million households identified as highly likely to be eligible for pension credit, as a result of data matching. A further reminder postcard was sent to one million households who did not respond. Since 5 December 2005 customers who contact the pension credit application line to make an application for pension credit are also able to claim housing benefit and council tax benefit during the one phone call.
During 2005-06 Local Service visited approximately 23,000 households each week, focusing on those customers who were most likely to be eligible for pension credit and working closely with partners (e.g. Help the Aged, Age Concern) to encourage pensioners to take up their entitlement to pension credit.
In addition, we are currently improving our service by enabling new customers who call to claim their state pension, to also apply for pension credit, housing benefit and council tax benefit in a single call.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to support pensioners in ill health who cannot claim council tax benefits due to their level of savings. 
James Purnell: People aged 60 or over who are receiving the guarantee part of pension credit will normally be entitled to full council tax benefit, less deductions for any non-dependants in the household.
Someone in ill-health may also be entitled to an additional amount in pension credit for severe disability if they qualify for attendance allowance or the middle or highest rate of the care component for disability living allowance. This would increase the level of the guaranteed minimum income that would be applied and increase the amount of income (including notional income from savings) that someone could have and still qualify for pension credit.
People over the age of 65 who are severely disabled and have personal care or supervision needs can claim attendance allowance. It is non-contributory, tax free and is not affected by income or savings.
We want to make sure pensioners claim all the benefits to which they are entitled and know that some pensioners need support in doing so. The Pension Service Local Service, local authorities and sometimes the voluntary sector are joining forces nationally so that older people will receive a full and joined up service that can deal with a variety of issues and queries. Many older people dislike having to go through claim processes over and over again with different organisations and these joint teams can help reduce this by providing a single access point to social care and benefit entitlements such as pension credit, housing benefit and attendance allowance.
We now have 118 teams that are able to visit some of the most vulnerable people in the country, people who historically may never have applied for any entitlement or benefit and who would not be aware of referral routes or even the names of the many benefits they could receive.
Mr. Philip Hammond:
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) whether new infrastructure associated with the proposed system of personal accounts will be financed (a) by the public sector,
(b) by the private sector with no comfort letters or guarantees from the Government and (c) by the private sector but with comfort letters or guarantees from the Government; 
(2) to what extent the cost of setting up the proposed new system of personal accounts will be met by savers through the annual management charge; and whether part of the cost will be met by the Exchequer. 
Information showing the number of DWP benefit and pension payment accounts paid by Direct Payment into a Post Office card account in (a) the London Borough of Bexley and (b) Greater London is shown in the following table.
|Greater London authorities||Number of accounts|
Mr. Plaskitt: My Department has taken no steps, other than those built into the original contract, to either reduce the cost of each transaction into a Post Office card account or to reduce the range or quality of services provided to customers.
Mr. Touhig: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many people have been placed via Remploy Interwork into supported jobs with (a) mainstream and (b) other companies in each of the past five years; 
|Disabled people placed by Remploy Interwork into work with employers( 1)|
|April to March||Number|
|(1) Information is not available to differentiate between mainstream employers and other companies.|
|People who have transferred from Remploy businesses to Remploy Interwork|
|April to March||Number|
|Disabled people who have undertaken a work-related training scheme through Remploy Interwork|
|April to March||Number|
|(1) Information is not held by Remploy.|
Mr. Laws: To ask the Leader of the House (1) how much was spent on the Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund and its predecessors in each year since 1980-81; what forecasts he has made of how much will be spent in each year between 2007-08 and 2050-51; and how many members of the scheme there are; 
Mr. Straw: The Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund (PCPF) is a fully-funded pension scheme whose costs are met from Members' contributions, investment returns and an Exchequer contribution. The Government Actuary undertakes a triennial valuation in which he makes recommendations as to the necessary Exchequer contribution to the PCPF. This can rise or fall depending on factors such as predicted investment returns and longevity assumptions. The value of the Exchequer contributions since 1978-79 is as follows:
|Financial year||PCPF exchequer contribution rate (Percentage of Members' salaries)||PCPF exchequer contribution rate (Percentage of office holders' salaries)||PCPF exchequer contribution (£ million)|
| Notes: 1. The above costs include contributions payable in respect of pensions provided for MPs, Ministers and office holders. 2. Contribution rates for 1978 to 1981 were based on a notional salary figure.|
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