§ Mr. Wigley
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the cost to his Department of funding the pensions of members of the European Parliament in each of the last three years; to how many beneficiaries these payments are made; and what estimate he has made of the future annual liability for making such pension payments. 
§ Mr. Andrew Smith
[pursuant to his reply, 3 May 2000, c. 147W]: I regret that my earlier answer was incomplete.
MEPs receive two pensions: one from the EU and a national pension. Expenditure on the former is met from the European Parliament section of the EC budget, as my earlier answer noted.
Number of staff recorded as having been seconded to private sector companies Grade Number Company Start date End date May 1997 to April 1998 G5 1 PA Consulting March 1997 June 1998 HEO 1 National Association of Pension Funds April 1997 April 1999 G7 1 EQUUS Group Consultancy April 1997 March 1998 G7 1 McKechnies Ltd. May 1997 August 1997 G7 1 Ernst and Young July 1997 February 1998 G7 1 British Aerospace September 1997 December 1997 May 1998 to April 1999 G7 1 Barclays Bank plc October 1998 July 1999 HEO 1 European Foundation for Quality Management December 1998 June 1999
Regarding the latter, under the European Assembly (Pay and Pensions) Act 1979, the basic costs of the European Parliament (United Kingdom Representatives) Pension Scheme are met from the Consolidated Fund. Pension increases are funded from the Civil Superannuation Vote. Details of the costs are published annually in the Supplementary Statements to the Consolidated Fund and National Loans Fund Accounts.
In each of the last three financial years, the basic costs were as follows:
£000 Basic pension incl. Widows and dependents Lump sums 1997–98 202 0 1998–99 219 135 1999–20001 403 616 11999 was an election year to the European Parliament, many MEPs who stepped down were of retirement age or above. Resettlement grants totalling £1,364K were also funded from the Consolidated Fund.
As at 31 March 2000, there were 54 beneficiaries in receipt of pensions under the scheme. No estimate has been made of future Percentage annual liabilities.