§ Fiona Mactaggart
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what estimate he has made of the total annual cost of administering weekly payments in cash for state pensions, including payments to the Post Office and other third parties; 
(2) what estimate he has made of the total annual cost of making payments of pensions to pensioners by ACT; 
(3) what estimate he has made of the number of pensioners who failed to switch to ACT because of the change from weekly to monthly payment. 
§ Mr. Rooker
Information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is as follows:
Information on total annual costs of administering payments for State Pensions, including payments to the Post Office and other third parties is collated but not split by method of payment of frequency of payment. The latest total annual cost of administering Retirement Pension for 1998/99 was £314 million.
Frequency of payment is a big issue for many pensioners and anecdotal evidence suggests that the non-availability of weekly payment by ACT is a potential issue, which may prevent some customers switching from order book to ACT. Unfortunately, information upon which a numerical estimate of the number of these pensioners could be based is not available. This is obviously an issue we are giving consideration to.