§ Mr. Frank Field
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many male partners of retired teachers would be eligible for more generous pension provisions on the death of their spouse if the rules on transferring teacher pension entitlement to a widower became uniform; and what estimate he has made of the cost of changing policy in this way. 
§ Mr. Miliband
The Teachers' Pension Scheme has provided automatic cover for widowers' pensions since 6 April 1988. All female teachers have been given the option to purchase cover for pre-1988 service at favourable rates. Very many chose to do so and only those female teachers who did not take advantage of this opportunity have cover for widowers' benefits restricted to their post-1988 service. Information is not held on the number of female teachers who chose not to cover their pre-1988 service for widowers' benefit.
To provide widowers' benefit cover from 1972 in respect of all serving female teachers would increase the contribution rate by around 0.15 per cent, of salary.
§ Mr. Miliband
It will not be possible to calculate the additional cost of the increase in employers' contributions to the Teachers' Pension Scheme for each local education authority for 2003–04 until we have analysed the contributions data for March and April 2003.
Nationally, a total of £650 million has been transferred into provision for schools to meet the costs of the 4.75 per cent, increase in employers' contribution that arises from the inclusion of the costs of pensions increase on the scheme. This comprises a baseline adjustment to the Education Formula Spending total of £586 million; £20 million to meet the additional costs of 568W Threshold grant payments; and a £44 million transfer to the Learning and Skills Council in respect of sixth forms.