HC Deb 05 July 2001 vol 371 cc269-70W

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his estimate is of the proportion of a stakeholder pension fund accumulated over 20 years which would be lost by a 1 per cent. charge. [1132]

The proportion of a stakeholder fund taken by a 1 per cent. charge over 20 years would be 11.4 per cent.

Note:

This figure is based on standard assumptions used by the Personal Investment Authority.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many pensioners are subject to a reduction in their state retirement pension because they have been in(a) an NHS hospital and (b) a similar institution and treated as being an NHS patient, for over 52 weeks; [2303]

(2) how many pensioners in hospital for 52 weeks or more and subject to the hospital downrating system receive less than 20 per cent. of the basic pension rate; [2305]

(3) how many people experienced a reduction in (a) their state retirement pension and (b) one or more means-tested benefits due to being in hospital for (i) six weeks and (ii) 52 weeks in the last year for which figures are available. [2304]

The rule that pensions and other benefits should be reduced when the beneficiary is in hospital has been in force since the National Insurance Scheme was introduced. There is no reduction during the first six weeks in hospital. Thereafter the amount of Retirement Pension is reduced by 20 per cent. of the basic pension rate for those with a dependant and by 39 per cent. for all other cases. (40 per cent. prior to 9 April 2001). The amount of Retirement Pension reduces to 20 per cent. after 52 weeks. No one receives less than 20 per cent. of the basic State Pension.

The available statistical information on retirement pensioners with hospital reductions is shown in the table.

 Retirement pensioners by category with hospital reductions Thousand September 2000 All hospital reductions 31.5 Reduced by 20 per cent. 6.1 Reduced by 40 per cent. 14.9 Reduced to 20 per cent. 10.5

Notes:

1. The figures are rounded to the nearest hundred

2. Totals may not sum due to rounding

Source:

5 per cent. sample from the Pension Strategy Computer System at September 2000

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the Government will publish the revised reports from the Pension Provision Group on pension provision for self-employed people and the impact on pensions of changes in the labour market. [2270]

The Pension Provision Group are currently reviewing both reports in the light of the Government's Pension Credit proposals. It is anticipated that both reports will be ready for publication later in the year.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Blackpool, South (Mr. Marsden) of 25 June 2001,Official Report, column 33W, on the pension credit, if he will estimate how many of the responses to the formal consultation process did not welcome the proposals. [1559]

The responses contained helpful views, many welcoming our proposals. We will be announcing our response to the Pension Credit consultation in due course.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average amount of state pension and benefits lost by pensioners subject to hospital downrating rules was in the last year for which figures are available. [2307]

It is not possible to provide estimates for the average reduction in income-related benefits.

 The average reduction in basic state pension as a result of hospital downrating in 2000–01 £ per week Category Average reduction Benefit reduced to pocket money rate 56.28 Benefit reduced by 20 per cent. 13.53 Benefit reduced by 40 per cent. 27.11

Note:

Data are from the September 2000 administrative sample