§ Lord Higgins
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether a record has been kept of the National Insurance numbers and the names of those to whom they have been issued; how many National Insurance numbers have been issued; and whether they are cancelled when a holder dies. [HL809]
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham)
Records of National Insurance Numbers (NINOs), and the names to whom they were allocated, are retained for all NINOs allocated between 5 July 1948 and 5 April 1975.
Details of all NINOs allocated since April 1975 are retained on the National Insurance Recording System (NIRS) computer. The NIRS computer system also contains a record of all NINOs allocated prior to April 1975.
There are approximately 82 million NINOs and Child Reference numbers recorded on the Departmental Central Index (DCI). These include the records of those who have died, but whose contributions are the basis for benefit payments to surviving dependants, and foreign and EU nationals who have worked temporarily in the UK.
When a customer dies, the date of death is recorded on both the NIRS and DCI records. This should ensure that the number cannot be used fraudulently once a date of death has been recorded.
The Data Cleansing Project removed 182,000 National Insurance numbers (NINOs) during the last financial year—more than the whole of the last Parliament.
The Data Cleansing Project will be stopped on 31 March; however the process of analysing our database to identify and remove inaccurate, duplicate and fraudulent NINOs will continue at current levels as part of our core business.