HC Deb 30 June 2003 vol 408 cc83-4W
Mr. Webb

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many individuals are estimated to be eligible for pension credit in(a) 2003–04, (b) 2004–05, (c) 2005–06 and (d) 2006–07; [121121]

(2) what his Department's target is for the number of individuals who will be receiving pension credit by (a) 2003–04, (b) 2004–05, (c) 2005–06 and (d) 2006–07. [121122]

Malcolm Wicks

Estimates are provided in the following table:

Table 1: Number of individuals estimated to be eligible for pension credit
2003–04 4.9
2004–05 5.0
2005–06 5.1


  1. 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest100,000 cases.
  2. 2. Estimates are based on the Department's Policy Simulation Model and income support administrative data on benefit recipients.
  3. 3. Figures include individuals in private households and residential care or nursing homes.
  4. 4. Forecasts for 2006/07 are dependent on the outcome of the 2004 Spending Review.

Estimates for the years after 2003–04 are based on one scenario of uprating, where the savings credit threshold is linked to prices, and the guarantee credit is linked to average earnings. However uprating of pension credit will be determined in the annual uprating order. The Government have committed to increase the guarantee credit by average earnings for this Parliament.

The Department's PSA target is for at least 3 million households to be in receipt of pension credit by 2006. It is estimated that this corresponds to around 3.7 million individuals.

Matthew Taylor

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate how long it takes on average to(a)complete and (b) process the pension credit application form; and whether his Department has a target for the number of applications to be processed. [121580]

Malcolm Wicks

Implementation of Pension Credit is still in the early stages of the advance application period. Reliable information on the time taken to complete applications through the telephone application line and the time taken to process applications is not yet available. However, the Department's published Service Delivery Agreement includes a three-year target to ensure that Pension Credit applications are processed on average within 10 days once the necessary information and evidence has been submitted. The Department also has a Public Service Agreement target to be payingPension Credit to at least three million pensioner households by 2006.