To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners had a reduction in their state retirement benefit as a result of a stay in hospital; by what amount the state retirement benefit is reduced in these circumstances; and how much was saved by his Department as a result of reduced benefit payments in the last full year for which figures are available.
The hospital downrating rules led to an estimated £57 million reduction on expenditure on the basic state pension in 2000–01.
After 52 weeks retirement pension recipients get the £14.50 "pocket money" rate.
5 per cent. from the Pension Strategy Computer System at March 2001. Rounding to nearest hundred