asked the Minister of Education what provision is made in his regulations for early rectification of a mistaken option by a teacher in favour of one of the alternative pensions schemes.
I assume that the hon. Member is referring to the National Insurance (Modification of Teachers' Pensions) Regulations. The answer is "None, Sir."
Does that answer mean that, where a perfectly genuine error is made by a teacher and is ascertained within the matter of weeks, his Department decline to allow rectification in any circumstances?
The decision was taken that this option should be irrevocable after a period of some five months in which all the circumstances were explained and it was pretty generally known. Each teacher was acquainted with the circumstances and it would be impossible to have people flitting in and out.
Is the Minister aware that in fact mistakes have been made and that the documents concerned are very complicated? What is the objection to allowing rectification, at any rate for the first few months of the scheme?
The objection is the difficulty in connection with the administrative side of this work if such a practice were allowed.