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Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many people stopped claiming pension credit in each of the last three years, broken down by reason for non-continuance; 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: We do not have the detailed information in the form requested but the number of pension credit claims that were closed 2004 to 2006 for various reasons including death were as follows:
|Number of claims closed|
| Notes: 1. The number of claims are rounded to the nearest 10. 2. A pension credit claim can be made for an individual only or on behalf of a household. 3. Yearly totals cover the period from 1 December to 30 November because they are derived from summing quarterly figures. Source: DWP Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100 per cent data|
The Pension Service makes every effort to issue letters to customers at their last verified address. There have been a few isolated incidents of mistakes, but where letters do go to an incorrect address this is usually for a variety of other reasons, such as the customer moving and inadvertently omitting to let the Pensions Service know of their change of address.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: At the present time there are 10 members of the Pension Service Board of whom eight are entitled to a final salary pension. The two non- executive members are not currently in the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to his answer of 16 May 2007, Official Report, column 769W, on pensions, how many of the estimated number of people with pension losses are (a) at or above age 65 years and (b) at or above their scheme retirement age. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The answer given by the former Minister of State my right hon. Friend the Member for Stalybridge and Hyde (James Purnell) on 16 May 2007, Official Report, column 769W, remains the best available estimate.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many complaints about handling of claims for the state pension the Pensions Service received in each of the last five years. 
|April to March||Total number of complaints received by the Pension Service|
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many large databases there are at the National Pensions Centre; what each one is used for; and what data are held in each one. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Pension Service, including the National Pensions Centre, has access to four primary systems. Each system has an associated database which holds data appropriate to the processing needs of the business.
(a) Pension Strategy Computer System (PSCS) which is used for processing state pension and contains data appropriate to the following:
(i) Income Support Computer System (ISCS) which is used for processing pension credit;
(ii) Customer Information System (CIS) which holds a central index of personal details; and
(iii) National Insurance Recording System (NIRS2) which holds national insurance contribution history.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Estimates published in the White Paper: Security in retirement: towards a new pensions system, suggest that approximately 7 million people are not saving enough to give them retirement incomes they are likely to consider adequate.
Estimates of the current level of under saving for retirement are difficult to construct due to the difficulties identifying appropriate saving targets; uncertainties about which kinds of wealth and assets to take into account; difficulties projecting individuals future saving and working patterns, particularly around choice of retirement age; and reliance on a range of other uncertain assumptions, including the impact of future macro-economic developments. Consequently such estimates should be treated cautiously.
Caroline Flint: Poverty is a complex and multidimensional issue and, as such, there are many possible measures of poverty. To reflect this, there are a wide range of indicators included in opportunity for all.
While income alone does not provide a wide enough measure of poverty, it is generally accepted that low income is central to any poverty measurement. The most common measure of low income used to capture poverty is individuals living in households with an income below 60 per cent. of contemporary median income, adjusted to take account of family size and composition.
The public service agreement (PSA) to halve child poverty includes three indicators of child poverty. These are relative low income (below 60 per cent. contemporary median household income), absolute low income (below 60 per cent. of 1998-99 median income uprated in line with prices), and combined low income and material deprivation.
The new PSA Tackle poverty and promote greater independence in later life includes three indicators related to low income for pensioners. These are relative low income (below 60 per cent. contemporary median household income), relative low income (below 50 per cent. contemporary median household income), and absolute low income (below 60 per cent. of 1998-99 median income uprated in line with prices).
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what special training is received by doctors contracted by his Department to carry out personal capability assessments in severe and enduring mental health problems. 
Mrs. McGuire: The doctors who are contracted by Atos Healthcare to carry out personal capability assessments on behalf of this Department receive comprehensive benefit-specific training across the full range of conditions and disabilities, including mental health conditions, before they can carry out medical examinations, assessments or give advice regarding benefit claims.
The training enables them to carry out personal capability assessments whatever the customer's condition or disability, as it concentrates on gathering and evaluating information and using it to determine and explain the functional effects of a person's condition so that a decision maker can use that information to decide entitlement to benefit. Doctors are only approved to carry out this work once they have demonstrated full competence, and the quality of their work will continue to be monitored to maintain high standards. Specific training modules are delivered that cover mental health problems and doctors are provided with evidence-based medicine guidance modules in specific mental health conditions and on learning disabilities.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many personal capability assessments were carried out by Atos Healthcare for his Department in the last year for which figures are available; and how many of these were reviewing (a) mental health, (b) physical health and (c) both mental and physical health. 
Mrs. McGuire: In the 12 months to September 2007, Atos Healthcare undertook 528,380 personal capability assessments. Information about the number of assessments that were reviewing mental or physical health is not available as it is not possible to break the figure down by incapacity.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people had their benefits reduced as a consequence of not taking a reasonable job offer in each of the last 10 years. 
|Number of customers sanctioned|
Information prior to 2000 is not available.
DWP: JSA Sanctions and Disallowance Decisions Statistics Database
During the period in question, the decline in decisions to apply sanctions for refusing employment coincides with an increase in decisions to apply sanctions to those who have either not done enough to find work or who are unreasonably restricting their availability for work.
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many International Pension Centre clients (a) live permanently abroad and (b) require documents to be translated into a language other than English. 
(a) The International Pension Service serves some 1.071 million people who receive state pension and 37.7 thousand people who receive working age benefits who are resident abroad.
(b) The information requested is not available. A small number of customers request information to be provided in a language other than English; that is arranged on a case-by-case basis and central records are not maintained.
| Notes: 1. Figures rounded to the nearest 10. 2. Parliamentary constituencies are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant ONS postcode directory. Source: Information directorate 100 per cent data|
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