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Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many families claiming income support comprised lone parents who were (a) divorced, (b) separated and (c) never married in each year since 1992. 
Mr. Timms: Information on people making a claim for income support, initial or subsequent, is not available. People can make a claim but may not be eligible, or may not pursue their claim and records are not kept on the number of claims people make.
|Average number of children in lone parent families in receipt of income support|
|Quarter ending||Average number|
| Notes: 1. Data are only available from May 1995 and by quarter rather than on an annual basis. 2. Data for May 1995 to May 1999 inclusive are based on a 5 per cent. sample and subject to a degree of sampling variation. Data after May 1999 are based on a 100 per cent. sample. 3. Data are for lone parents with dependant children aged under 16. Source: DWP Information Directorate 5 per cent. sample and 100 per cent. Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.|
Mr. Timms: New deal for disabled people (NDDP) will be extended until June 2008 with existing providers in all Jobcentre Plus Pathways districts, including those in the Jobcentre Plus Dorset and Somerset district. A tendering exercise to award NDDP contracts in the same districts has been carried out and preferred bidders have been notified. We expect to announce the successful bidders by 30 May 2008. Contracts are due to commence from June 2008 for a period of two years. I welcome the hon. Member's support for this important service.
Mr. Mike O'Brien:
Information on which to base a reliable estimate of the average assumptions relating to longevity used in actuarial valuations of final salary pension schemes is not available. Some limited information about the assumptions used is available from the regulator's analysis of the first tranche of 1,292 scheme funding recovery plans, which was published on 26 September 2007. The assumptions about life expectancy at age 65 used in the majority of these recovery plans was 21.9 years for men and 24.8 years for women. This information only relates to schemes where a valuation was completed
between September 2005 and April 2006, however, and is not a reliable indicator of the position for all schemes, or of the current behaviour of trustees in choosing assumptions about longevity now. It is not for the Government to tell trustees what assumptions to make on longevity.
On 18 February the pensions regulator published a consultation document inviting views on proposed new guidance for trustees on choosing the assumptions about longevity to be used in actuarial valuations of their scheme. The document reflects emerging evidence which suggests to the regulator that past allowances for future improvements in life expectancy have not always been adequately taken into account, and the consultation period will last until 12 May.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many complaints (a) his Department, (b) the Pensions Service, (c) Jobcentre Plus, (d) the Disability and Carers Service, (e) the Health and Safety Commission and Executive, (f) the Child Support Agency, (g) the Rent Service and (h) the Debt Management Service received in each of the last 10 years. 
Mrs. McGuire: Centrally, the Department for Work and Pensions does not separately identify complaints from other forms of correspondence. Each of the Departments agencies and customer facing units has its own complaint handling procedures. The available information for each agency is in the tables.
|Complaints received by the Pension Service|
|Complaints received by Jobcentre Plus|
|Complaints received by Disability and Carers Service|
|(1) Total is customer complaints only.|
(2) Total is of customer complaints, MP complaints and inquiries, and public inquiries to senior officials.
(3) Total is customer complaints, MP complaints or inquiries, and public inquiries to senior officials to December 2006. From January 2007, only customer and MP complaints are included.
(4) Total is customer and MP complaints only.
|Complaints received by Child Support Agency|
|(1) Changes to how the Agency recorded stage 1 complaints over the years means that comparisons of the number of complaints received are not easily made. The Agency initially operated a two-tier complaints process to deal with escalated complaints. A third tier was introduced in 2003, see notes (5) and (6). In the year ending March 2006, 7,167 stage 1 complaints required escalation to resolve and 4,673 in year ending March 2007.|
(2) While the Agency did receive stage 1 telephone complaints prior to 2002-03, their volumes were not recorded.
(3) Although 671 stage 1 telephone complaints were recorded between December 2002 and March 2003, their volumes were not recorded throughout the whole year, thus preventing meaningful comparison with later years.
(4) While the Agency did receive complaints directly to the chief executive, treat official complaints, and MP complaints to business units prior to 2000-01, their volumes were not recorded.
(5) During 2003-04, complaints sent directly to the chief executive were not recorded separately from those complaints that were escalated to him as part of the three-stage process. Therefore, although 7,183 complaints in total were received during 2003-04, it is not possible to separate out those complaints received by the chief executive directly (as opposed to those escalated via the complaints process), thus preventing meaningful comparison with data for earlier years.
(6) In April and May of 2004, the chief executive received a total of 1,435 complaints, however, is not possible to separate out those complaints received by the chief executive directly, as opposed to those escalated to stage 3 of the complaints process. From June 2004 to March 2005, after which time such complaints were recorded separately, the chief executive received 4,393 direct complaints and 2,549 complaints escalated upwards from stage 2. Again, these recording issues prevent meaningful comparison of this category with earlier years.
(7) Treat official letters are those received by a Minister from a member of the public, and referred for initial consideration to an official of the agency.
The Rent Service was formed in October 1999 as an Executive agency of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister; the Rent Service became an Executive agency of the Department for Work and Pensions in June 2001.
|Complaints received by the Rent Service|
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