HC Deb 21 March 1990 vol 169 cc643-4W
Mr. Burns

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list other European Economic Community countries that decide the date for the commencement of payment of the retirement pension along the same lines as Regulation 16(1) of the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1987; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard

[holding answer 27 February 1990]: In the United Kingdom, state retirement pensions are payable in advance from the day on which the person becomes entitled to a pension, if this is a Monday, or if not, from the following Monday.

Arrangements in other European Community member states differ from each other, with pensions usually being paid monthly rather than weekly. In Denmark, Italy and Spain, the first pension payment is made at the beginning of the month following the qualifying day, but includes a payment backdated to the qualifying day. In the Netherlands, the pensioner is entitled to pension from the beginning of the month of his qualifying birthday.

(2) What is his estimate of the numbers qualifying for rate relief in each region and the amount and distribution of such relief in terms of the amount of relief.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard

[holding answer 22 February 1990]: The information is in the table.

In Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Germany, the first pension is payable at the start of the month following the qualifying day, without any payment for the intervening period.

In Ireland, where pensions are paid weekly, the first payable date is decided as in the United Kingdom.

I regret it has not proved possible to obtain comparable information about the position in Greece and Portugal.