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Graduated Pensions Scheme

Volume 654: debated on Monday 19 February 1962

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17.

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance how much has been deducted from wages, since the inception of the graduated pensions scheme, from persons who have now retired without accumulating enough to qualify for any addition to their pension.

Is the Minister aware that there is a great deal of confusion and anger on this question; in fact, that a process of confiscation by the Government is going on? Is he aware that the Government are confiscating those contributions to graduated pensions which do not reach, in the case of employed males, as much as £7 10s. a year, or, in the case of a female employee, as much as £9? Will he see that the Government give something in return for this confiscated money, or at least say that, as this money should not be confiscated, it should be returned to the poor people who have been compelled to pay?

I think the hon. Gentleman has misunderstood the position. It is this. If the contributions paid equal half a unit, that is, a £3 15s. contribution by the man, a full unit is credited. If it is less than that, there is no entitlement. That seems to me to be an absolutely fair proposition, and it is one which, after debate, this House accepted some time ago.

May I ask the Minister if it is not the position that an employee is required to contribute up to £7 10s. and that when the Minister talks about half he is talking about a joint contribution; in fact, the employee must himself contribute £7 10s. before the money is returned?

No, Sir. There is no question of money being returned on either hypothesis. I am afraid that again the hon. Gentleman has misunderstood. If the contribution which an employee pays is £3 15s., there is entitlement to a full unit.