§ Mr. Fearn
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what estimate he has made of the number of women for each year from 1999–2000 to 2009–10 who will receive(a) reduced SERPS pensions and (b) reduced widow's pensions as a result of the changes in payments to beneficiaries being introduced in April. 
§ Mr. Timms
Information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is in the table.
Forecast information on the average number of women pensioners and widows who could be affected at any one time in each year Thousand Potential number of women pensioners affected Potential number of widows affected 1999–2000 145 15 2000–01 430 50 2001–02 710 90 2002–03 1,010 130 2003–04 1,325 175 2004–05 1,650 225 2005–06 1,975 275 2006–07 2,335 330 2007–08 2,720 390 2008–09 3,090 450 2009–10 3,435 515
1. Figures relate to the total number of women pensioners. Some will have no SERPS entitlement and will not be affected by the change.
2. All numbers have been supplied by Government Actuary's Department.
3. Numbers are given in thousands and are rounded to the nearest 5,000.
4. There is some double counting as widows over pension age appear in both columns.
5. The proposed new schemes for widows and widowers under state pension age have not been taken into account, nor have the half rate inheritance changes beginning in April 2000.
6. Figures are for GB only.
§ Mr. Steinberg
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much would it cost to increase the old age pension to £75 per week for a single pensioner and £116.60 per week for a married couple; and what the net cost would be taking into account savings in respect of other benefits and tax revenue. 832W
§ Mr. Timms
The information requested is not available. Such information as is available is in the tables.
Estimated gross cost of raising Retirement Pension rates to £75 per week for a single person and £116.60 per week for a couple from April 1999 £ million Excluding linked benefits Including linked benefits Gross cost (1999–2000) 3,580 4,280
Estimated cost net of tax of raising Retirement Pension rates to £75 per week for a single person and £116.60 per week for a couple from April 1999 £ million Excluding linked benefits Including linked benefits Cost net of tax (1999–2000) 3,280 1— 1 Tax offsets have been provided by the Inland Revenue. Cost net of tax including linked benefits not available.
1. Means-tested benefit offsets are not available as the Family Resources Survey which is used to calculate these cannot differentiate between married women who receive a Category A pension on their own insurance (and would require a 12.4 per cent. increase) and those who receive a Category B pension based on the their husbands' contributions (these would require a 4.1 per cent. increase). Offset calculations cannot therefore be made where, as here, different percentage changes are made to different categories of Retirement Pension.
2. Figures are rounded to the nearest £10 million and are expressed in cash terms.
3. Contributory benefit estimates have been provided by the Government Actuary's Department.
4. Linked benefits are those statutorily linked in value to basic State pension, for example widows' pensions.