§ Mr. Boswell
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many local advisers will be assigned to each local office of the new Pensions Service; what its total staffing complement will be; and if he will make a statement on plans to offer claimants a personal interview if requested. 
§ Mr. McCartney
[holding answer 23 November 2001]: The Pension Service will provide a customer-focused service dedicated to the needs of today's and future pensioners. It will be modern and efficient, and accessible by telephone, post, in time the internet and locally where pensioners need to do so. It will work to join up services for pensioners both locally and nationally and will build on existing best practice.
There will be a local service in each area offering a face to face service for those customers who need it. In addition the local service will work with other locally based organisations to provide information on the full range of local services of interest to pensioners through outreach and visiting activity. The design and size of the local service is currently being planned.