HC Deb 09 February 2004 vol 417 c1139W
17. Mr. Joyce

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to help people make informed choices about their pensions in retirement. [153189]

Malcolm Wicks

The recent Command Paper CM6111 "Simplicity, security and choice: Informed Choices for working and saving", published on 3 February 2004, sets out our programme to help people make informed decisions about retirement. The strategy that I have set out is based around three steps—activation, education and information. We are determined toEnable people to make the most of pension provision and encourage availability of the right pension products; Raise people's awareness of their options and improve financial education; and Ensure that everyone has high-quality, accurate and timely information.

Mr. Webb

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the effect on expenditure on the basic state pension in each of the next five years of ascribing to all persons below state pension age a full year's national insurance contributions in lieu of their actual contributions in all future years. [150456]

Malcolm Wicks

The information requested is in the table.

£ million
Additional expenditure on basic state pension
2005–06 20
2006–07 50
2007–08 100
2008–09 160
2009–10 220


1. The costs for the first few years are shown and are very low because they relate to current public expenditure. The effect on the underlying fiscal position is larger because future public spending liabilities are being increased in respect of people of all ages.

2. The costs given are the gross costs to the nearest £10 million, in 2003–04 price terms, using 2004 benefit rates.

3. The costs assume that the first year for which the contributions will be credited is 2004–05.

4. The costs take into account that men aged 60 to 64 are automatically awarded national insurance credits for those years irrespective of whether they are in work or not. These credits count towards state pension entitlement.