HC Deb 15 July 2003 vol 409 cc252-3W
Gregory Barker

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the cost in(a) gross terms and (b) net terms of restoring the earnings link for the state pension in each year between 2005–06 and 2010–11, assuming that the policy was introduced in April 2004 and applied to (i) all pensioners, (ii) pensioners aged 65 or above, (iii) pensioners aged 70 and above, (iv) pensioners aged 75 and above and (v) pensioners aged 80 and above. [126035]

Malcolm Wicks

The information requested is set out in the tables.

2003–04. The total number of State Pension Forecasts for 2003–04 will therefore be approximately 3,944,000. This is five times the number issued in 2002–03.

We are currently finalising our forecasting plans in response to the Green Paper "Simplicity, Security and Choice," Cm 5677, and the subsequent consultation exercise. We have not made final decisions on the total number of planned forecasts for 2004–05 and 2005–06.

The current number of staff processing all forecasts is the equivalent of 175 full time staff. The estimated operational cost for this year is £3.9 million. Estimates of the operational costs for future years are not currently available as they are subject to decisions that we make as part of the Informed Choice package in the Green Paper.