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Clause 36—(Additions To Pensions, Etc, In Certain Cases Of Unestablished Employment After Retirement)

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 31 May 1949

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I beg to move, in page 30, line 11, after "year," to insert "not exceeding five."

The object of this Amendment and the one that follows is to prevent an anomaly arising in the case of those who give service after the retiring age, some of which is reckonable under Clause 35 as service rendered before the civil servant leaves the established service, and the remainder of which is reckonable under Clause 36 as service by a re-engaged pensioner, and which together amount to six years or more. Clause 35 deals with the established man who continues after he has reached the retiring age in an established capacity. This Clause deals with the established man who continues in an established capacity and, having gone out, comes back and continues in an unestablished capacity.

As drafted, the Bill requires service rendered after the retiring age to reckon under Clause 35, in so far as it is reckonable under that Clause, and only allows service to be reckoned under Clause 36 to the extent that the Clause 35 service has not exhausted the maximum of five years' reckonable under that Clause. This Amendment, and those which succeed it relating to this Clause, allow the civil servant who has served sufficiently long to have reckonable service under both Clauses, together amounting to six years or more, to count his years under Clause 36 and not his years under Clause 35 if they give him a better pension. In other words, we are giving under the two Clauses the best of both worlds to the civil servant.

It will not add noticeably to the estimate of cost given on Committee. All we are doing is to give the civil servant the right to be dealt with under Clause 36 if it gives him a better lump sum and pension, or Clause 35 if that gives him a higher lump sum and pension or under a combination of the two Clauses if that gives him better provision. It makes very little difference to the cost.

I have a case in mind and I should like to know if it is covered by these provisions. It is that of a Customs officer who after 37 years' service retired in 1938. He returned in 1940 and worked five years and four months in a post similar to the one he occupied before. He was compulsorily retired at 61 and did not complete 40 years, only getting 37-eightieths. I have sought opinion and have been told that for some reason he will not qualify. He returned to the service in May, 1940, and did not retire until August, 1945. Will this Clause cover that individual and permit him at least to count three of those years, thus making his pension 40-eightieths instead of 37-eightieths?

I understand that the case put by my hon. Friend is that the officer came back during the war and finally retired in 1945. If so, he cannot benefit under this Clause.

A moment ago the right hon. Gentleman was saying that the civil servant would get the best of both worlds. I do not in the least object to that, but it would hardly be right if we went any further without pointing out that in those circumstances the taxpayer will obviously get the worst of both worlds. While I do not in any way quarrel with the Amendment—indeed I would support it if any hon. Member opposed it in the Division lobby—I am sure that if my right hon. Friend the Member for North Leeds (Mr. Peake) had been in charge, he would have given us an estimate.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 30, leave out lines 22 to 25, and insert:

"(4) Notwithstanding anything in subsection (3) of the last preceding section, no year shall be taken into account thereunder which would make the number of years taken into account under that and the last preceding subsection exceed five in all."—[Mr. Glenvil Hall.]

I beg to move, in page 30, line 37, to leave out subsection (6).

This is a drafting Amendment. We shall be coming back to this later when we deal with a subsequent Amendment on Clause 47.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.