§ Mrs. Dunwoody
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list the number of applications to his Department for projections of future state pension entitlement in the last year for which figures are available and the cost to public funds of this service.
§ Mr. Hague
The administration of the pension forecast service is a matter for Mr. Michael Bichard, the chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member.
Letter from Michael Bichard to Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody, dated 21 June 1994:The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions asking about the Retirement Pension forecast service.The Benefits Agency provides centralised services at DSS Longbenton, giving Retirement Pension (RP) forecasts and advice. One is for customers who are currently abroad or going to live abroad and is run by the Agency's Overseas Benefits Directorate. During the year ended March 1994, applications for forecasts totalling 26,142 were made to this service.The main RP forecasting service, which is part of the Agency's Newcastle Pensions Directorate, serves customers living in the UK. In the year ended March 1994 this service received 476,339 applications for pension forecasts.The combined running costs for these services are in the region of £1.5 million.I hope you will find this reply helpful.