§ Mr. Grimondasked the Minister for the Civil Service how many civil servants receive index-linked pensions; what is the present top rate; and what is the total cost of such pensions.

§ Mr. ChannonThe number of pensions in payment to retired civil servants and their dependants at March 1980 is 364,000. 82 per cent. of pensions are less than £2,000 a year. The largest is about £24,000 a year. The total annual cost of these pensions in the year beginning November 1979 is estimated to be £477 million.

§ Mr. John Browneasked the Minister for the Civil Service what was the £ sterling cost of indexation for civil service pensions for the period 1979–80; and is the estimated indexing cost for the same pensions for the period 1980–81.

§ Mr. ChannonThe first year cost of the increase in Civil Service pensions on 12 November 1979 was estimated to be £61.4 million. I regret that it is not yet possible to estimate the first year cost of the next increase.