§ Ms Blears
[holding answer 13 May 2004]: The information is not centrally available in the form requested. The cost of early retirement on ill-health grounds is mitigated to an extent by the fact that the retired officer will normally be replaced, either directly or indirectly, by a recruit on a lower salary who can perform all the ordinary duties of a member of the force. A broad indicator of the cost to forces in any year is the aggregate of the cash lump sums they pay to officers retiring on ill health grounds. Based on the estimated number of ill-health retirements for 2003–04 published by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy the Government Actuary's Department estimate that the total cost of ill-health pension lump sums in England and Wales is about £50 million.