§ Mr. Webb
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate the number of incomplete national insurance records on the NIRS2 computer system for the financial year 1997–98; and if he will make a statement on the implications of these incomplete records on the benefit and pension entitlements of those effected. 
§ Dawn Primarolo
I have been asked to reply.
At the end of each year we receive contributions details for approximately 50 million individual employees, some of whom have had several jobs during the year. We have updated over 98 per cent. of individual records for which we have received 1997–98 details.
Of the remaining two per cent., in the majority of cases the information we have received is incomplete, or in a format that we cannot use to update the individual record. This is a feature of any year and we are continuing to work with employers to put this right. The remaining details are currently being entered into NIRS2.
By the end of November we estimate that we will have updated over 99 per cent. of records on NIRS2 for which we have received 1997–98 contributions details.
The effect on an individual's benefit or pension entitlement of their 1997–98 National Insurance contribution record being incomplete varies from case to case.