§ Mr. Dewar
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what percentages of respondents opted for automated credit transfer and post office order book payment in each group of 8,000 recipients applying for pension payments involved in the test marketing of forms which took place in March of this year;
(2) what was the total cost of the test marketing of revised forms for retirement pension payments which were issued to 24,000 recipients in March this year;
(3) when a decision will be taken on revised forms giving those eligible for the state retirement pension a choice of payment method; and when such forms will be introduced.
§ Miss Widdecombe
Retirement pension claim forms are issued four months before potential entitlement begins and, so far, only a minority of the piloted claim forms have been returned. It is not possible to draw any statistically valid conclusions at this stage.
Decisions on any revision of the current claim form, including when any resultant new form might be introduced, will not be made until after the results of the trial are known.
The cost of the test is estimated to be around £22,000.