§ Mr. Ashdown
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what proportion of people currently drawing unemployment benefit is taken up by those receiving an early retirement pension.
§ Dr. Boyson
In November 1983, the latest date for which figures are available, a total of 905,600 unemployed claimants were receiving unemployment benefit. Of these, 35,500 (3.9 per cent.) were recorded as receiving occupational pensions. A further 1,200 (0.1 per cent.) were not receiving unemployment benefit because of the effect of the abatement provision, whereby those aged 60 or over have their benefit reduced by 10p for each 10p of their occupational pension in excess of £35 per week. Details of occupational pensions are recorded only for those claimants aged 60 or over. It is not possible to identify from the records those who retired before their normal retirement date.