§ Mr. Dismore
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement about the future status of the NHS Pensions Agency. 
§ Mr. Milburn
A quinquennial review of the NHS Pensions Agency completed in 1998 concluded that the Agency had performed well since it was established and in particular had successfully implemented a major programme of change to improved efficiency and the quality of service to all its customers. I am placing a copy of the report in the Library today.
In the first instance I have decided to leave administration of the core NHS Superannuation Scheme within the Agency but I have committed them to outsource, under one facilities management contract, the Agency's support and ancillary services. This contract will cover at least 55 per cent. of the Agency's current running costs. I have tasked the Agency in partnership with the supplier to secure further improvements in efficiency that approach the best returns forecast by the review for full contractorisation.