§ Mr. Sayeed
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans he has to ensure that those pensioners who will be affected by the changes in SERPS inheritance will not be affected further; and what plans he has to amend these changes. 
§ Mr. Timms
We have no plans to alter those provisions of the Social Security Act 1986 which, from 6 April 2000, reduce inherited SERPS from 100 per cent. to 50 per cent.
- 1. The previous Conservative Government introduced a number of changes to SERPS in the Social Security Act 1986 to reduce expenditure.
- 2. The rationale behind this particular change was to bring SERPS in line with occupational schemes where inheritance of half occupational pension rights is the norm.
- 3. The change does not take effect until 6 April 2000.
- 4. The halving of inherited SERPS was not widely publicised at the time. It was included in publicity about the Pensions Act 1995. From Spring 1996, information has been included in Leaflets NP46 (A Guide to Retirement) and NP45 (A Guide to Widows' Benefit). A bulletin has recently been issued to staff in the Benefits Agency to ensure that they are fully aware of the change and can advise claimants accordingly.