HC Deb 20 May 2002 vol 386 cc40-1W
Mr. Webb

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will set out the basis for the estimate in the Pensions Green Paper of the proportions of retirement income coming from state and from private sources; and what his latest estimate is of those proportions. [57511]

Mr. McCartney

The 1998 Green Paper contained estimates of the proportions of retirement income coming from the state and private sources for the year 1998 and also projections of the same proportions for the future years, 2025 and 2050.

The estimates of the proportions for 1998 were made by using data from the Government Actuary's Department (GAD) and DWP data on state spending on pensioners and Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates of the size of private pensions in payment.

The projections of the proportions for future years were made using GAD projected expenditure for national insurance benefits, i.e. the basic state pension and state second pension, and DWP projections of income-related benefits. The projections for income from private sources were based on figures from ONS for current pensions in payment. These were updated by PENSIM estimates of the growth in private pensions in payment until 2025 and then by estimates of GDP growth thereafter. PENSIM estimates are based on data from three different surveys conducted in 1988. These were the Social Change and Economic Life Initiative, the Retirement Survey and the Family Expenditure Survey.

Since the 1998 projections were made, private pension income has increased and we remain committed to promoting saving for retirement. The introduction of secure, value for money stakeholder pensions last year and other measures we are taking mean that we are on track to achieve this.

We do not have more recent projections for future years because, as highlighted in the Performance and Innovation Report on modeling in Government Adding it Up (2000) there are numerous problems with PENSIM. Therefore, the Department is currently developing an entirely new dynamic micro-simulation model, Pensim2.

Mr. David Stewart

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent research he has(a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the retirement incomes of women who are married compared to the retirement incomes of women who are cohabiting; and if he will make a statement on the equal treatment implications of the research. [55326]

Mr. McCartney

[holding answer 10 May 2002]: There are a number of studies that seek to compare pensioners' incomes. These include the Pensioners' Income Series (1999–2000) which is produced by the Department for Work and Pensions and the Cabinet Office's Individual Income (1996–97 to 1999–2000). Both draw on data from the Family Resources Survey.

Tables 4.2 to 4.4. of the latter contain data on weekly individual income by marital status and family type for all women. The sample size is not sufficient to enable comparison of the incomes of married women who are in a pensioner couple with the incomes of cohabiting women in a pensioner couple.

Beyond this, we have not commissioned any specific research to compare the incomes of women that are married against those that are cohabiting.

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