§ Mr. Rendel
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what are the current SERPS rebate rates for those who have contracted out of SERPs and taken out private pensions; and what estimate he has made of what these rates would have been had their calculation taken into account the recently announced SERPS widows' entitlements. 
§ Mr. Rooker
Current rates of rebates for contracting-out of SERPS are set out in the following OrdersThe Social Security (Reduced Rates of Class 1 Contributions) (Salary Related Contracted-out Schemes) Order 1996 (S.I. 1996/ 1054)The Social Security (Reduced Rates of Class 1 Contributions, and Rebates) (Money Purchase Contracted-out Schemes) Order 1998 (S.I. 1998/945)The Social Security (Minimum Contributions to appropriate Personal Pension Schemes) Order 1998 (S.I. 1998/944).
The rate of rebate for members of salary-related schemes was set for the five years beginning 6 April 1997 following a review by the Government Actuary. That rebate is flat rate, based on a range of economic and demographic assumptions, using weighted averages with regard to age and sex, and including a contingency margin and expense loading. The weights assumed comparatively few members in the age range affected. The effect on the rebate of the changes to SERPS announced on 29 November would have been insignificant compared with the total level of the rebate. Age-related rebates for members of money purchase schemes and personal pensions would not have been affected because of the cap which applies at older ages.