§ Mr. Tony Banks
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security in the light of the abolition of the earnings rule for retirement pensions what guidance his Department now gives to those approaching retirement as to the financial benefit of either claiming or deferring their retirement pension especially for those who have a deficient contribution record.
§ Mrs. Gillian Shephard
It is the Department's policy to make information available to help individuals make informed choices and plan for their retirement.
Information on deferring retirement and contribution conditions for retirement pension is in leaflets produced by the Department. The retirement pension forecast advisory service provides individuals with a valuable forecast of their entitlement based upon their existing and forecast future contributions record.
Also, as part of the retirement pension claims package, which is sent to individuals four months before they are due to reach pensionable age, there is information on the effect on their pension of deferring their claim and the contribution conditions for retirement pension.