HC Deb 20 October 1981 vol 10 cc102-3W
Mr. Gwilym Roberts

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the latest figures available for the net cost of reducing the pensionable age of men to 64, 63, 62, 61 and 60 years, respectively; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Rossi

On the assumption that the numbers deferring retirement would be higher than is presently the case amongst men aged 65 to 69 years, that only two-thirds of the jobs vacated by men in employment retiring earlier were actually filled, and that of those jobs filled only three-quarters would be filled by persons on the unemployment register, the net cost to central Government funds for a full year and at average 1981–82 rates is estimated to be of the order of

Reduction of pension age to Cost £ million
64 400
63 900
62 1,400
61 2,000
60 2,600

These estimates take account of the net cost to the national insurance fund, the loss of national insurance surcharge, National Health Service, redundancy fund and maternity pay funds income, a broad estimate of the loss of income tax revenue and a saving in supplementary benefit. In addition to the above costs there would be important financial implications for occupational pension schemes. The net cost would be higher with lower levels of unemployment.

Mr. Rooker

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the current purchasing power of the retirement pension compared to (a) November 1978 and (b) November 1979.

Mrs. Chalker:

The single person's basic retirement pension at September 1981 is £27.15. Taking account of movements in the general index of retail prices up to September 1981, the value of the pension rates introduced in November 1978 and 1979 would, at September 1981 prices, be £28.99 and £29.50 respectively.