HL Deb 19 May 2004 vol 661 c90WA
Lord Lester of Herne Hill

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What would be the total estimated financial cost of making survivor pension benefits for civil partners retrospective in public service pension schemes; and what are the assumptions upon which this estimate is based. [HL2712]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey

The Government Actuary's Department's estimates the impact of civil partnership on public service pension schemes using as far as possible the normal actuarial assumptions on demographic and financial factors it considers appropriate for these schemes. But a key unknown factor is the level of civil partnership formation among members of these schemes. The regulatory impact assessment published on 31 March 2004 illustrates the impact of different levels of take-up and explains the underlying assumptions and uncertainties. The capitalised cost of the high take-up case in the RIA was estimated by GAD at £300 million if civil partnership rights applied to all the past service of the relevant scheme members. However, the costs could be higher or lower than the ranges illustrated depending on take up. For example, if the propensity of same sex couples to register matched that of opposite-sex couples to marry, this cost would be around £3 billion.