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28 Feb 2008 : Column 1790W—continued


Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many occupational pension schemes have entered wind-up procedures in each year since 1997; and what percentage of occupational pension schemes operating in each year each figure represents. [175074]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The information requested is not available in the format requested.

Occupational Pensions: Low Incomes

Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what steps his Department is taking to ensure that employers provide access to an occupational pension scheme for their employees; [175326]

(2) what plans he has to give low income employees access to an occupational pension. [175327]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Through the Pensions Bill 2007 currently before Parliament we will introduce a requirement on all employers to automatically enrol workers who are eligible into a qualifying workplace pension scheme. This will help to overcome barriers to saving such as inertia. Our estimates indicate this will result in between six and nine million people newly participating or saving more in workplace pensions, transforming the savings culture in the UK.

The Bill will introduce for the first time a mandatory employer contribution which will provide a clear incentive to save, and help those on low and moderate incomes to build up their pension funds. Overall annual pension contributions are estimated to increase by up to around £10 billion by 2015.

Pension Credit: Greater London

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners in each London constituency did not take up their entitlement to pension credit in each of the last five years. [175357]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Estimates of eligibility and take-up are not available below the level of Great Britain. It is not therefore possible to say how many
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people are eligible for pension credit and of those how many did not take up their entitlement in each London constituency.

Latest estimates of take-up rates and the number of pensioners who were entitled to but not claiming pension credit in Great Britain were published in the “Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take-Up in 2005/06” report. A copy of this report is available in the Library.

Pensions

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners receive (a) the basic state pension alone and (b) the basic state pension and pension credits. [174872]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: 9,327,800 pensioners receive state pension and 2,360,900 receive the state pension and pension credit.

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the percentage of pensioners who will retire in the 2007-08 fiscal year and are enrolled in an (a) final salary scheme and (b) defined contribution scheme. [175060]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The information is not available in the format requested.

Pensions: Financial Assistance Scheme

Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much the Financial Assistance Scheme for pensions has paid out to individuals in each year for which figures are available. [175722]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Total assistance paid out to scheme members since the Financial Assistance Scheme was announced in May 2004 is shown in the following table.


28 Feb 2008 : Column 1792W
Gross expenditure (£)

2005-06

99,333

2006-07

3,730,468

2007-08 up to and including 28 December 2007

8,658,973

Overall total up to and including 28 December 2007

12,488,774


Pensions: Insolvency

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his estimate is of the number of companies which face increases in their annual payments to the Pension Protection Fund as a result of their overturned appeals against its levy. [175065]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Board of Pension Protection Fund (PPF) is responsible for the calculation of the Pension Protection Levy and is required by law to publish in advance the rules it has determined for calculating the levy for each financial year. No eligible scheme is required to pay more than the amount correctly calculated in accordance with the rules determined by the board.

Eligible schemes may use a statutory appeals process to challenge whether an individual levy invoice has been calculated correctly, in accordance with the rules and using the relevant scheme data. As at 31 November 2007, 3,520 invoices have been issued to eligible schemes. Of these 3,520 invoices issued, less than 1 per cent. of schemes (34) had applied for their 2007-08 invoice to be formally reviewed by the PPF. 25 of the applications met the criteria for a review. Nine did not meet these criteria for a number of reasons, including not meeting the 28-day deadline for querying a levy invoice. 10 reviews have been completed. One application for review was successful, resulting in a revised invoice being issued. In nine cases the original invoice was found to be in accordance with the published rules. 15 appeals await completion of the review process. No scheme has been re-invoiced for a higher amount for 2007-08 as a result of an overturned appeal.

Schemes may apply to the Pension Protection Fund Ombudsman if they are dissatisfied with the decision of the PPF’s Reconsideration Committee. No applications have been received by the PPFO for 2007-08.

Pensions: Overseas Residence

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many overseas recipients of the graduated pension have their pensions frozen. [176736]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: In March 2007 there were around 300,000 pensioners living overseas with their state pension, which includes graduated retirement benefit, frozen.


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Pensions: Wales

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many residents of Wales had cases managed by the Pension Service’s Newcastle office in the last 12-month period for which figures are available. [174845]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: All new claims to state pension and pension credit in the last 12 months for residents in Wales have been managed by Swansea Pension Centre.

However the National Pension Centre in Newcastle currently manages a caseload of approximately 4.2 million state pension customers. Included in this are 180,000 residents of Wales. All of these cases are historically over 12 months old. National Pension Centre is also responsible nationally for cases requiring specialist action. They own these cases for the duration of the action and currently there are 1,638 cases that reside in Wales.

All the statistics are current as of October 2007.

Remploy

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the value is of work sub-contracted by Remploy's Furniture Group to other companies outside Remploy. [175280]

Mrs. McGuire: Remploy has contracted out work to the value of £81,229 from its furniture business in the first eight months of the 2007-08 financial year.

Retirement: West Midlands

Ms Gisela Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of people in the West Midlands who have not made financial provisions for their retirement; and if he will make a statement. [175441]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The information requested is not available.

Social Security Benefits: Depression

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what benefits can be claimed by parents of children who have been prescribed drugs for depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; how many cases there were of benefits claimed on this basis in each year since 1996-97; and if he will make a statement. [174264]

Mrs. McGuire: There is a range of benefits that can be claimed by parents of children with health problems. Entitlement to disability living allowance is not linked to particular disabling conditions, but on the extent to which a severely disabled person has personal care needs and/or walking difficulties as a result of their
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disability. Parents can claim disability living allowance for children who have been prescribed drugs for depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, as long as their disability meets the above criteria. Parents of children who are awarded the middle or highest rate of the care component of disability living allowance may also qualify for carer's allowance or income support if they satisfy the appropriate conditions of entitlement.

For disability living allowance, depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder fall into three categories of disabling condition. The available information about the number of cases is in the following table. Information about the number of parents who claim carer's allowance or income support for children who have been prescribed drugs for depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is not available.

Disability living allowance cases in payment to people aged under 16
Learning difficulties Behavioural disorder Hyperkinetic syndrome

May 1996

45,500

13,400

200

May 1997

50,200

17,400

400

May 1998

53,900

22,600

500

May 1999

56,900

27,900

500

May 2000

59,500

34,300

700

May 2001

62,700

41,900

900

May 2002

65,540

51,490

1,030

May 2003

69,130

58,600

1,010

May 2004

71,680

64,340

1,060

May 2005

74,480

69,500

1,130

May 2006

77,920

72,080

1,140

May 2007

83,080

72,690

2,150

Notes:
1. Figures for May 2002 to May 2007 are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Figures are for cases in payment only, i.e. they exclude cases where payment has been suspended for example where the claimant is in hospital.
3. Figures for May 1996 to May 2001 are taken from a 5 per cent. sample and are therefore subject to sampling variation.
4. Figures for May 1996 to May 2001 have also been adjusted in line with the WPLS data and rounded to the nearest hundred.
5. Totals may not sum due to rounding.
Source:
DWP Information Directorate five per cent sample and 100 per cent WPLS data

State Retirement Pensions

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many people were underpaid their state pension in each of the last five years; and how many people complained about such underpayments in each year; [170560]

(2) what estimate he has made of the total amount underpaid to recipients of the state pension in each of the last five years; [170561]

(3) how many people have been refused the payment of money underpaid but due to them for their state pension as a result of a complaint taking place outside the one year guideline period since 2001. [170562]

Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 3 December 2007]: The information on the number of people who have been underpaid state pension in the last five years is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.


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The Department derives annual estimates of the amount of state pension that is underpaid due to official error through examination of a random sample of cases. The sample is a small one, and as a result the estimates have wide margins of error. As such the estimates should not be used to draw conclusions about changes over time in the level of underpayments. They do allow us to say with confidence that the level has remained very low as a percentage of state pension expenditure over the last five years.

Estimates of underpayments of state pension for the last five years are in the following table.

Underpayments (£ million) Underpayments as a percentage of expenditure

2006-07

80

0.2

2005-06

60

0.1

2004-05

70

0.1

2003-04

20

0.0

2002-03

80

0.2

Notes:
1. Monetary estimates are rounded to the nearest £10 million.
2. Percentages are rounded to the nearest 0.1 per cent.
Data Source:
The State Pension Monetary Value of Error Exercise

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