§ Mr. Andrew Bowden
To ask the Secretary of State For Social Security (1) what plans he has to enable the retirement pension to be paid from the date on which a person reaches pensionable age, rather than from the first payday; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what would be the additional expenditure incurred by paying the state pension from the date of retirement in terms of (a) payments of retirement pension and (b) additional costs of administration.
§ Miss Widdecombe
We have no plans to do so. Retirement pension is a regular weekly payment and is not paid for part weeks. The current provisions ensure that everyone is entitled to a full week's pension within a week of retirement. Having fixed pay days for different benefits enables the Post Office to spread the load over the week and ensure that it has the necessary cash available to provide a satisfactory service.351W
The additional expenditure incurred by paying the state pension for the odd days between the 60/65th birthday and the first pay day is estimated to be £9 million1. This figure does not include any corresponding savings in income support. The additional administration costs are estimated to be £10,000.
1 Costs are at April 1992 benefit rate terms and are for 1992–93.