Some related articles :
new pensions error
BBC News, July 2, 2002
pensions error is the second in two months
mistake - the second of its kind in recent months - prompted new Work and
Pensions Secretary Andrew Smith to apologise.
comes as MPs get ready to focus on pensions in the House of Commons on
Tuesday in a Conservative sponsored debate.
are set to debate the "crisis in funded pensions" shortly after
the publication of the government's response to the Work and Pensions
select committee's report on the Pension Credit.
his debut Commons outing in his new job, Mr Smith told MPs that he had
launched a complete review of the figures.
pensions minister is correcting the record in a written answer this
afternoon," he said.
ONS is to lead a review of these statistics, including external
representatives, as a matter of urgency.
apologise where figures previously given in good faith by ministers on the
level of pension contributions are now subject to review."
Smith was on his Commons debut as pensions secretary
added that the government was going to consider "radical and
concerted action" to sustain final salary pension schemes which are
being cut by firms.
error revealed on Monday follows the withdrawal of some statistics by
ministers on the total worth of pension funds after it became apparent
they too contained mistakes.
Conservative spokesman on work and pensions, David Willetts, said it was
pity that Mr Smith's first appearance at the despatch box in his new job
was to admit a serious error made by his predecessor.
have been boasting that we have been saving £86bn a year in our
pensions," he said.
are now admitting that that included transfers from one form of assets to
another, it was not new flows.
is a significant mistake in the figures they have been boasting about for
the past months and years."
Smith responded that he believed he had "done the right thing"
by announcing the correction.
said regardless of the error the basic state pension remained at the heart
of the UK's pension provision.
need a national consensus in this country on the way forward on pensions.
It will not be helped by the Conservative Party proposing the abolition of
the basic state pension," he said.
Smith told Liberal Democrat spokesman Steve Webb that all pensions figures
should be treated "with caution" until the ONS review was
added: "I am not aware of any other corrections which need to be made
though I have to say that having had this experience now with the ONS, and
the House will be aware of the previous difficulties on pensions
statistics, I think it wise to treat figures with caution until the
outcome of the review."
social security minister, Labour MP Frank Field said that radical reforms
were necessary if the government was going to reverse a fall in pension
savings that left them running at a fifth compared to five years earlier.
order paper now has more questions on pensions than at any time since
Maxwell stole pension funds from his workers," he said.
the population of this country is not to look forward to a leaner, meaner
retirement, we need to ensure that more is saved towards our retirement
Smith replied: "Yes we do need to raise the level of savings and make
it easy and accessible for people to build up a savings pot that can
genuinely provide them with security in retirement."
Willetts later released a statement saying he believed the correct figure
for pension contributions in 2001 was around £51bn - an amount well below
the government's original £86bn statistic.
FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Global Action on Aging distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.