HC Deb 06 May 1999 vol 330 c451W
Mr. Viggers

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer of 28 April 1999,Official Report, columns 165 –66, on pensioner incomes, what would be the difference in income between a single man of 65 with no savings or resources and the income of a single man of 65 who has resources of at least £16,000 but no additional pension from SERPS; and what amount of money would be required to purchase an annuity to fund this difference. [83178]

Mr. Timms

The amounts of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit that a person receives depends on local factors as well as personal circumstances. As an illustrative example, a hypothetical 65-year-old man with no savings or resources who receives the average Housing Benefit and average Council Tax Benefit received by those on Income Support aged 60 or over would receive £127 a week in Income Support, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.

The amount is £60 more than the full basic pension and, at February 1999 annuity rates, a lump sum of £43,000 would be required to fund this difference.

It is, however, extremely unlikely that a person would receive the full basic pension and have £16,000 in savings without having any second-tier pension as any employee who earns over the Lower Earnings Limit for National Insurance contributions automatically builds up rights to a second-tier pension. Furthermore, information from the 1996 General Household Survey suggests that half of those who are self-employed are currently contributing to a personal pension and a further 10 per cent. have contributed in the past.


  1. 1. Weekly income figures are rounded to the nearest pound and the lump sum figure is rounded to the nearest £1,000.
  2. 2. The latest available data are used for average levels of benefit receipt, the level of Income Support and annuity rates:
Income support and basic State pension level—1999 –2000 figures; Average Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit received —May 1997 data expressed in February 1999 figures; Annuity rates —February 1999 figure.

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