HC Deb 28 June 1979 vol 969 cc295-7W

asked the Minister for the Civil Service how many public service pensioners are in receipt of pensions as

 Range Number of civil service pensioners per cent. of total Cumulative per cent. of total £ per annum 0 — £500 133,893 39 39 £500 — £1,000 93,241 27 66 £1,000 — £1,500 44,889 13 79 £1,500 — £2,000 22,771 7 85 £2,000 — £3,000 25,599 7 93 £3,000 — £4,000 12,629 4 96 £4,000 — £5,000 5,824 2 98 £5,000 — £6,000 3,154 0.9 98.9 £6,000 — £7,000 1,837 0.5 99.4 £7,000 — £8,000 919 0.3 99.7 £8,000 — £10,000 761 0.2 99.9 over £10,000 231 0.1 100 Total 345,748

The total Civil Service pension bill in the financial year 1978–79 was £360 million. This figure could be broken down among the ranges specified only at disproportionate cost.

Since the effect of pensions increase is to preserve the purchasing power of the pension as at the time of award, it is impossible for a Civil Service pensioner, after a career of 40 years, to receive a pension greater in real terms than half his retiring salary. No statistics are held which would indicate how many Civil Service pensioners now have a pension which exceeds their final salary in cash terms.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service, if inflation is assured to run at an annual rate of 10 per cent. and the number of civil servants entitled to receive an inflation proof pension remains at the present figure, what is his estimate of the cost to the Exchequer of continuing the present arrangements over each of the next 10 years.

under: 0 to £500, £500 to £1,000, £1,000 to £1,500, £1,500 to £2,000, £2,000 to £3,000, £3,000 to £4,000, £4,000 to £5,000, £5,000 to £6,000, £6,000 to £7,000, £7,000 to £8,000, £8,000 to £10,000 and over £10,000, respectively, what is the aggregate remuneration in public service of all pensions in each bracket; and how many public service pensioners have incomes greater than their maximum final rate of pay while in employment.

Information in the form requested is not held centrally for all public service pension schemes. However, the numbers of Civil Service pensioners in receipt of pensions in the ranges specified are as follows:

Over a 10-year period many existing pensions will cease and new pensions will be awarded. It would not be possible to give adequate estimates of cost in the form requested without undertaking a full actuarial assessment which could only be done at disproportionate cost. Such a study would have to include assumptions about the number of pensions ceasing, the amount of increase which would have been added to them before they ceased, the age structure of new pensioners, average lengths of reckonable service and the future levels of Civil Service pay.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what steps he intends to take to implement the recommendations of the eleventh report of the Expenditure Commitee, 1976–77, that the basis of assessing the actuarial value of the index-linked public service pensions for comparability purposes should be broadened, and the details of the assessment published.

As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister said in the answer she gave on 22 May to the hon. Member for Nottingham, West (Mr. English), the Government are studying the issues raised by the eleventh report of the Expenditure Committee.