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Contributory Pensions Act

Volume 245: debated on Thursday 20 November 1930

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70.

asked the Minister of Health if he will take the necessary steps to ascertain the cost involved if the Widows', Orphans' and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act, 1929, were amended to provide that a wife, on attaining the age of 65, could be granted an old age contributory pension in respect of her husband's insurance, notwithstanding the fact that the husband had not attained the age of 65, but was of the age of 60 or upwards?

I regret that I could not, in present conditions, justify the expense which would be incurred in making the extensive research and calculations necessary to obtain the information desired by my hon. Friend.

71.

asked the Minister of Health if he will state the number of persons employed in an excepted employment by virtue of a certificate given under paragraph (b) or paragraph (c) of Part II of the First Schedule to the National Insurance Act who have become voluntary contributors under the National Health Insurance Act, in accordance with the provisions of Section 9 (1) of the Widows', Orphans' and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act, 1929?

I regret that this information is not available and could only be obtained by inquiry from the 7,000 approved societies and branches.

72.

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that about 5,500 employés of the late Poor Law authorities in London who were formerly insured for full pension benefits under the Widows', Orphans', and Old Age (Contributory) Pensions Act, 1925, are liable to be deprived of their old age pension benefits for which they have paid contributions except they become voluntary contributors; and whether, in view of the hardship to many of these persons involved, he will say what action the Government proposes to take in the matter?

I presume that the hon. Member is referring to those employés who on transfer to the London County Council are no longer compulsorily insured for old age pensions because they, in common with other employés of the council, are covered by the exception provided for in Section 9, pro- viso (c) of the Act. As the ground for this exception is that the terms of employment secure superannuation rights equivalent to those conferred by the Act by way of old age pensions, and as an old age pension in addition can normally be secured by voluntary insurance, I cannot agree that there is any hardship as suggested in the question. In any event, the position could not be altered without legislation.

Will the right hon. Gentleman inquire further into this matter, because if he does I think he will find that there is considerable hardship?

84.

asked the Minister of Health whether he is giving consideration to the fact that many old age and widows' contributory pensions will be in jeopardy owing to the period of the prolongation of insurance coming to an end on 31st December next; and whether he will take steps to meet the situation?

I would refer my hon. Friend to my reply given on 30th October to the hon. Members for Greenwich (Mr. Palmer) and Bothwell (Mr. Sullivan) on the same subject.

87.

asked the Minister of Health whether, when consideration is being given to the more aged claimants whose insurance will lapse consequent upon prolonged unemployment, he will take into account those younger in years at the same time?

I would refer my hon. Friend to my reply given on 30th October to the hon. Members for Greenwich (Mr. Palmer) and Bothwell (Mr. Sullivan) on the same subject.