§ Mr. Jamieson
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many information officers are currently employed at Truro Benefits Agency to give advice on the types and amounts of benefits available on retirement. 
§ Mr. Roger Evans
This is an operational matter for Peter Mathison, the chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member.
Letter from Peter Mathison to Mr. David Jamieson, dated 17 March 1997:The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking how many information officers are currently employed at Truro Benefits Agency (BA) to give advice on the types and amounts of benefits available on retirement.It is one of the aims of the BA to provide the best service in the most cost effective way. We are aware that the provision of distinct Customer Service roles are extremely valuable in providing customer groups with increased access to the Benefit Agency. With this in mind the provisions of outreach and liaison work have been examined to confirm that they are the best and most cost-effective ways of meeting local needs. District Managers have the flexibility and local knowledge to target resources and continue to provide the most appropriate services for their local community.Cornwall District includes the BA offices at Falmouth, Launceston, Penzance, St. Austell and Truro (Lemon Quay House). There is currently a Customer Service Manager for the District based at Truro. The Customer Service Manager is available to give information and advice on the best way of accessing BA services. The District Information Officer (DINO) has recently been moved to Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) Implementation duties. The reinstatement of the full range of DINO responsibilities for Truro will be considered in late Summer when the conversion of all JSA will have taken place.All reception staff are trained to give information and advice on benefits on retirement. In addition to this eight members of staff are available to answer telephone queries on Retirement Pension and to discuss complicated matters face to face with customers in the Truro office. Customers are welcome to call at Truro Office (Lemon Quay House) or to telephone (01872 355000) for the information.576WThere is also a national telephone service "Pensions Info-Line" for DSS material on pensions, the telephone number is 0345 313233 and is charged at the rate of a local call.I hope you find this reply helpful.