To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the (a) error rate and (b) arrears of work levels were for the last year in which pensions work was done in local offices in the South East region; and what the latest figures are for this work in the new pension centres.
The Benefits Agency handled payments to pensioners as well as to people of working age through a network of over 400 social security offices. The Pension Service was launched in April 2002 to provide a more unified and responsive service via a network of 26 pension centres. Directly comparable data is not available in the format requested. However, I can confirm that within the South East Region the level of accuracy reported on Retirement Pension work has remained above the 98 per cent. target throughout the transition, and the levels of outstanding Retirement Pension work have reduced by more than 50 per cent..