HC Deb 07 January 2003 vol 397 c172W
Mr. Gerald Howarth

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the net present value is of the Government's liability for pensions to be paid to its employees in(a) the public sector as a whole and (b) in the Ministry of Defence; in each case how much of this has been funded; and whether provision has been made for it in the Government's accounts. [87759]

John Healey

I have been asked to reply.

The Government Actuary's Department estimate that the unfunded public service pension scheme liabilities are approximately £380 billion as at 31 March 2002. It is not possible to separate out the liabilities relating to civil servants working for the Ministry of Defence, but the liabilities of the Armed Forces Pension Scheme covering armed forces personnel is £53.5 billion. The liabilities of the major public service schemes are reported in Resource Accounts, and from 2003–4, the liabilities of the smaller schemes will be incorporated into the balance sheets of employers who are mainly non-departmental public bodies.

Mr. Willetts

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what up-rating assumptions for the pension credit were used when calculating the spending on pensions as a proportion of gross domestic product outlined in the Pre-Budget document, "Long-term Public Finance Report: An Analysis of Fiscal Sustainability". [88210]

Mr. McCartney

Estimates of pension credit spending, included as part of total state pension spending in HM Treasury's publication, "Long-term Public Finance Report: An Analysis of Fiscal Sustainability", assumed that the savings credit threshold would be up-rated in line with increases to the basic state pension, and the guarantee credit would be up-rated by average earnings. The long-term assumption was that average real earnings would grow in line with productivity of two per cent. a year. This is one of several possible up-rating scenarios.