§ Mr. Boswell
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action is being taken by the National Health Service Pensions Agency(a) to identify and (b) to pursue and recover overpayments. 147W
§ Mr. Hutton
The National Health Service Pensions Agency operates internal controls to ensure the correct pension benefits are being paid, including periodic checks on entitlement to ongoing pension payments. As reported in the resource accounts for the NHS pension scheme the agency also takes part in the national fraud initiative co-ordinated by the Audit Commission, to ensure pension payments were still being made to the individual originally entitled to the pension.
Once overpayments have been identified, the agency has a special team who pursue recovery in accordance with the guidance in Government Accounting. Where necessary, cases are referred to solicitors for recovery, or, in cases involving fraud, to counter fraud specialists in the Department or the police.