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National Insurance Contributions And Pensions

Volume 887: debated on Tuesday 25 February 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the actuarial expectation of life for men at 65 years of age and women at 60 years of age; what is the amount paid, respectively, by a man and woman now retiring in contributions since the national insurance scheme started; how much the man and woman will receive, respectively, in total pensions having reached their actuarial expectations of life; and what is her policy towards reducing the male retiring age to 60 years of age.

Based on mortality rates in 1971–1973, the expectation of life is about 12 years for a man aged 65 and about 20 years for a woman aged 60. The other information requested by my hon. Friend depends on a number of variables. We have no proposals to reduce the minimum pension age for men to 60.

Following is the information:

The amount paid in contributions by an individual varies according to his employment history and, in the case of an employed person, his earnings from 1961 onwards, when the graduated pension scheme was introduced. In an extreme case, a person could have paid only 156 contributions from July 1948, the inception of the present scheme, and yet qualify currently for a standard basic rate pension on the basis of credits awarded in respect of continuous incapacity. The following examples are, therefore, merely illustrative.

They relate to employed persons, not contracted out of the graduated pension scheme, who have had no weeks of sickness or unemployment but who have paid contributions for each week since 5th July 1948 and who retire now. The total pension payable over their expectation of life is based on the rates of pension due to come into force in April 1975.

Flat-rate Contributions


Graduated Contributions

Basic and Graduated Pension

Man and Wife59761212,8003

* Employees share from 5th July 1948, excluding national health service and industrial injuries contributions.

† On maximum earnings since 6th April 1961.
‡ Total amount payable to 1987 for a man and married couple on the man's contributions and to 1994 for a woman on her contributions.
§ It is assumed that the wife will survive for the 12 years and will receive the standard rate payable on the man's insurance. On the man's death in 1987, widowhood benefits would also be payable but the amount has not been included.
≑ These contributions would have given cover for all national insurance benefits, not only pensions.