HC Deb 25 February 1991 vol 186 cc404-6W
Mr. Allen

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what procedures exist to credit a pension to someone working in the United Kingdom who is(a) a United States citizen and (b) a citizen of another EC country.

Mr. Jack

A United States citizen who has worked and paid social security contributions in the United Kingdom will receive a retirement pension under United Kingdom domestic law if he has paid sufficient contributions to qualify. If he has not paid enough contributions for this purpose but he has also been covered by the United States insurance scheme, the social security convention between the United Kingdom and the United States of America provides for insurance in both countries to be combined to help him to satisfy the qualifying conditions for a United Kingdom pension. Any United Kingdom pension resulting from this calculation will be payable in the proportion that the United Kingdom insurance bears to the combined insurance.

The United Kingdom pension for a European Community national who has worked in more than one EC country is calculated in accordance with Council regulation (EEC) No. 1408/71. The social security records of all the EC countries concerned are combined as though they were United Kingdom insurance and the pension rate is then calculated in proportion to the actual United Kingdom insurance in the combined total. A separate calculation is made of entitlement under domestic law alone and the United Kingdom pension is then paid at the higher of the two results. Special rules exist for cases where the person has been insured for less than a year in any one EC country.

Mr. Allen

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will issue to every state earnings-related pension holder an annual statement which will include the amount of pension to be paid on retirement.

Miss Widdecombe

The Department does notify certain national insurance contributors if their national insurance record is not sufficient in any one tax year for that year to count towards their basic pension entitlement, but there are no plans to issue annual statements to state earnings-related pension holders.

People are able to obtain details of their current or future possible state retirement pension entitlement by requesting a pension forecast from the retirement pension forecast unit at Newcastle.

Mr. Allen

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what consideration he has given to allowing state earnings-related pensions participants to make additional voluntary contributions; and if he will make a statement.

Miss Widdecombe

Although people who have a reduced basic pension entitlement may, under certain conditions, be able to pay extra voluntary contributions to enhance their entitlement, there are no current plans to extend this to state earnings-related pensions.

1 Average weekly earnings adult males Weekly upper earnings limit Upper earnings limit as a percentage of average earnings
£ £
1978 89.10 120.00 1978–79 134.7
1979 101.40 135.00 1979–80 133.1
1980 123.80 165.00 1980–81 133.3
1981 140.50 200.00 1981–82 142.3
1982 154.50 220.00 1982–83 142.4
1983 164.70 235.00 1983–84 142.7
1984 178.80 250.00 1984–85 139.8
1985 192.40 265.00 1985–86 137.7
1986 207.50 285.00 1986–87 137.3
1987 224.00 295.00 1987–88 131.7
1988 245.80 305.00 1988–89 124.1
1989 269.50 325.00 1989–90 120.6
1990 295.60 350.00 1990–91 118.4
1 Average weekly full-time earnings of all adult males.

Source: New Earnings Survey.

Mr. Hinchliffe

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many persons over the age of 60 years are in receipt of state retirement pensions or other equivalent income; and how this figure would be affected if the entitlement to a pension was given to men who retired at 60 years.

Miss Widdecombe

[holding answer 21 February 1991]: There are aproximately 10 million people in receipt of retirement pension. It is estimated that there are around 1.4 million men between the age of 60 and 64 who might qualify for retirement pension if pension age for men is reduced to 60.