HC Deb 13 March 1978 vol 946 cc54-5W
Mr. Mates

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many citizens quality by age to receive an old age pension; how many of those so qualified are rendered ineligible for pension because they are working; and what would be the approximate cost to the Exchequer if all those entitled by age to receive a pension were permitted to do so.

Mr. Orme

In November 1976, the latest date for which a figure is available, about 8,400,000 people over pension age were receiving retirement pensions, including old persons' pensions. It is estimated that a further 208,000 people over pension age were not eligible to receive their pension because they had not retired or been treated as retired from regular employment. They included 95,000 men whose wives were not eligible to receive a pension on their husbands' contributions until the husbands received their pensions. The additional cost of paying pensions to these people is estimated to be about £170 million a year at current benefit rates.