§ Mr. Jon Owen Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if his Department automatically sends letters notifying people of their eligibility for a pension when they reach retirement age to people(a) who have worked and paid national insurance contributions in the last 25 years and (b) who have not worked and not paid national insurance contributions in the last 25 years. 
§ Mr. Arbuthnot
The administration of retirement pensions is a matter for Mr. Ian Magee, the chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member.605W
Letter from Ian Magee to Mr Jon Owen Jones, dated 23 May 1995:The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Department automatically sending letters to people at retirement age concerning their eligibility for Retirement Pension.Approximately four months before a person reaches State pension age (60 for a woman and 65 for a man), the Benefits Agency automatically sends them, by computer process, a form on which to claim Retirement Pension; this is provided they have established some entitlement to a pension, however small. In the case of a man, two claim forms are sent. This is to enable a wife to also make a claim on her husband's National Insurance record. An accompanying form sets out the amount of pension to which it is known the person is so far entitled. Both Welsh and English versions of the forms are sent to addresses in Wales.Even if there is no entitlement to any pension at the time the claim forms would be sent, they would still be sent if it was known the person had previously lived abroad or if the person is shown to be either widowed or divorced. In these cases, contributions paid abroad or paid by the former spouse may help establish entitlement to pension.The automatic issue of forms to claim Retirement Pension is not a legal requirement, but it is in line with the Agency's aim to provide a high level of Customer Service.I hope you find this reply helpful.
Scotland and Northern Territorial Directorate Claims September 1993 to September 1994 October 1994 to March 1995 Made Successful Made 1Successful AD1. Tyne Tees 7,142 587 185 33 AD2, South Yorkshire and Humberside 6,521 776 214 33 AD3, North and West Yorkshire 2,676 422 121 20 AD4, Glasgow and Paisley 242 8 5 0 AD5, North, Central and West Scotland 1,895 60 24 1 AD6, East of Scotland 2,394 94 29 2 1 Includes claims received but not decided in the earlier period.
Wales and Central Territorial Directorate Claims September 93 to September 94 October 94 to March 95 Made Successful Made 1Successful AD1. East Midlands 5,685 613 234 53 AD2. Midlands South West 652 55 8 8 AD3. West Mercia 3,668 383 100 9 AD4. Wales 9,388 1,347 416 97 AD5. Mersey side 501 49 14 0 AD6. Greater Manchester 328 31 14 1 AD7. Lancashire and Cumbria 2,270 151 53 6 1 Includes claims received but not decided in the earlier period.
Southern Territorial Directorate Claims September 1993 to September 1994 October 1994 to March 1995 Made Successful Made 1Successful AD1. Anglia 25 3 0 0 AD2. Chilterns 22 4 0 0 AD3. South London and West Sussex 0 0 0 0 AD4. West Country 144 3 8 3 AD5. East London and Essex 0 0 42 0 AD6. South East 470 32 17 1 AD7. Wessex 0 0 0 0 1 Includes claims received but not decided in the earlier period. Claims for AD3, AD5 and AD7 are dealt with by AD6.