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5. Membership data relates to the most recent information provided by the scheme. Membership information is not available for earlier years on a year-by-year basis.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the proportion of private sector employers who offered a pension to their employees in each year since 1997 for which data are available. 
|Pension credit applications||2004-05||2005-06||2006-07|
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of pension funds which have collapsed since 1997 are eligible for pensioner compensation under the Pension Protection Fund. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Pension scheme members may be eligible for compensation from the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) if the sponsoring employer of the pension scheme has an insolvency event after 6 April 2005.
Mr. Doran: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what costings were used to assess the feasibility of providing ill health benefits as part of the core benefits provided by the Pension Protection Fund; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien
[holding answer 16 October 2007]: The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) is intended to pay compensation based on those benefits generally provided on the winding up of a pension scheme, and so does not incorporate additional benefits beyond basic retirement and survivors benefits. The Government took a policy decision to focus the PPF compensation on these basic benefits to avoid an excessive burden on the Pension Protection Levy, which is paid by other pension schemes. For that reason, the costs of providing additional benefits such as ill-health early retirement were excluded from consideration at
an early stage and were not costed during policy development for the Pensions Act 2004.
The Department has, however, estimated indicative costs for the PPF introducing early compensation on ill health grounds; these estimates are highly sensitive to the underlying assumptions. If, for example, 5 per cent. of PPF deferred members qualified for ill-health compensation without actuarial reduction, they lived on average until the same age as those retiring in normal health and the average age at which they qualified was 50, the reserves of the PPF in respect of deferred members would have to rise by approximately 2 per cent. The PPF estimate that such an increase would require an increase in the Pension Protection Levy from £675 million by 10 per cent.
|The Pension Service staff costs|
Within the last five years the Pension Service has produced, and reviewed, equality schemes in 2005 and 2006. Staff costs to the Pension Service include work carried out in 2004 to produce the 2005 scheme.
Central shared accounting services
|The Pension Service Hotel Accommodation Expenditure( 1)|
|(1) The Department's Business Travel section records contracted hotel accommodation expenditure. Information is available only from 2005. A small amount of hotel accommodation is booked locally and the expense accounted by the Department's Resource Management System. The information from the Resource Management System is not available at agency level and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.|
Invoices charged to Pensions Transformation Programme Cost Centre.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Interpreter services are managed centrally by the Departments Commercial Directorate, therefore this information is not available for the Pension Service as costs are not captured at individual agency or business unit level.
|Average( 1) monthly number of employees having an absence 28 days( 2) or more|
|(1) The Pension Service records of staff absence cannot state the number of people in each year that had 28 days or more absence as data is not recorded in that way. Data record the number of people in each month that reach 28 days or more. As some people appear in one or more consecutive months, it is not possible to add the monthly figures in order to get a yearly total. Therefore the monthly figure has been averaged for each year|
(2) DWP defines long-term absence as someone who has been off sick for 28 calendar days or more.
Internal DWP records based on the Departments payroll system.
0845 numbers are charged at local call rates and the current guidance by the Committee of Advertising Practice Code applies to the cost of these calls. Current guidance is that calls provided by BT will be charged at up to four pence per minute at all times. A call set up fee of three pence per call applies to calls from residential lines. Mobile and other providers charges may vary.
0800 99 1234 Pension Credit Application Line is a free phone number and there is no charge for calls to this number from a BT Landline. Mobile and other providers charges may vary.
0191 218 7777 (International Pension Centrefor Overseas Customers). Calls to this number are charged at the standard rate for the territory from which the customer is calling.
0113 numbers in existence relate to:
Comments on Customer Charter
Calls made to each of these numbers from within the 0113 area are charged at Local Call Rates; calls made to each of these numbers from outside the area are charged at National Call Rates.
All Public Service providers are currently assessing the impact of migrating call numbers to the new 03 range. The Pension Service will also review the existing range of telephone numbers and consider simplifying access to our services for our customers. As part of that
review, cost implications and the merits of free-phone numbers over local call rates will be considered.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Translation services are managed centrally by the Departments Communications Directorate. This information is not available for the Pension Service as costs are not captured at individual agency or business unit level.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Costs are not captured at a sufficiently detailed level in the Departments Resource Management System for expenditure by the Pension Service on foreign travel to be separately identifiable.
The only source for this information is from the Departments Business Travel section, but this is likely to be incompletemissing some hotel accommodation which is booked locallyand is only available since June 2006. The Pension Service spend on foreign travel report from this source is £80,381 between June 2006 and August 2007.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what data his Department holds on changes in disposable income among pensioners in the last five years, broken down by (a) age and (b) region; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The DWP collects information on pensioners' incomes through the annual Family Resources Survey. Analysis of this information by age and region, both before and after housing costs, is included in the DWP publication series entitled "The Pensioners' Incomes Series". Copies of the latest and previous publications can be found in the Library.
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