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Members' Pensions

Volume 933: debated on Monday 13 June 1977

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asked the Lord President of the Council if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the pension and other retirement benefits available to Members of Parliament in the United Kingdom, the other countries of the EEC, Canada, Switzerland, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the USA.

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 24th January 1977; Vol. 924, c. 400], gave the following information:The information requested is as follows—UNITED KINGDOM: Members contribute 5 per cent of salary to the pension scheme. Provided that they have four years' reckonable service, once they have left the House of Commons they qualify at age 65 for a pension of one sixtieth of pensionable salary for each year of reckonable service. An actuarially reduced pension may be paid from age 60.BELGIUM: There is a contributory pension scheme to which MPs pay 6½ per cent of their salaries. If they have served for eight years or more they qualify for a pension at the age of 55. The pension represents 3·75 per cent of their salary for each year of service.DENMARK: After eight years' service ex-MPs are entitled to a pension at age 67 but the speaker and his deputies' can authorise payment from an earlier age. Rates are linked to Civil Service (CS) pensions, are adjusted for cost of living increases and vary between DKr 2071 (£207) monthly after eight years' service and DKr 6226 (£623) after 25 years or more. Pensions are abated if the ex-MP receives State old age pension and/or any other public sector, including Ministerial, pension. The total pension may not exceed the highest CS rate, currently DKr 10 240 monthly.FRANCE: A contributory pension is available at age 55. The size of the pension varies with the number of years over which contributions have been paid.FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY: With effect from 1st April 1977 MPs' pensions are non-contributory. Entitlement is from age 65 with eight years' service; from 60 with 12 years; from 55 with 16 years. Rates vary between 35 per cent and 75 per cent of last basic salary, currently between £460 and £1,400 monthly.IRISH REPUBLIC: There is a compulsory contributory pension scheme for all Deputies and Senators. After a minimum of eight years' total service a pension of one fortieth of salary per year of service is payable on retirement. This rises to two thirds of salary after 27 years' service.ITALY: Deputies and Senators com-pulsorily contribute the equivalent of £65 a month. After five years' service and age 60, a retired MP receives a taxable pension depending on the number of parliaments in which he has served. The amount of pension varies from 25 per cent of gross salary, equivalent to £2,200 —after 5 years' service up to a maximum of 85 per cent—£7,530—after 35 years.LUXEMBOURG: MPs receive no special pensions. Few MPs are full-time politicians and most have other occupations.THE NETHERLANDS: There is a non-contributory pension payable at age 65 for Second Chamber Members. For every year of service up to a maximum of 20 years they receive 3·5 per cent of their average salary earned over the last three years of office.CANADA: MPs are entitled to a pension after a minimum of six years' service based on their average annual income as MPs in the best six years. From the sixth to the tenth year the pension is calculated by multiplying the number of years served in Parliament by 3·5 per cent. of annual income calculated above. For each additional year up to the twentieth the MP receives an additional 3 per cent. of his income as calculated above and for the remaining years an additional 2 per cent. per year up to the maximum level of 75 per cent. The MP's pension remains the same until the age of 60 when it is indexed to the cost of living. MPs contribute 7½ per cent. of their income to finance their pension, which includes the State pension element.SWITZERLAND: Members of the

Nat-ionalrat and Standerat do not receive pensions other than general State pensions unless they are Ministers or leaders of the administrations in their own Cantons.

JAPAN: MPS compulsorily contribute 9 per cent. of basic salary after tax. For less than 10 years' service, 80 per cent. Of contributions without interest are returned as a lump sum. For 10 years' service the pension is one-third of basic pay after tax, and this is increased by one one-hundred-fiftieth for every additional month's service. There is no age limit.

AUSTRALIA: Contributions are 11½ per cent. of salaries. Pensions are from A$ 10 625 to A$15 937½50 a year.

NEW ZEALAND: There is a pension after a minimum of nine years' service at age 50 amounting to one-thirty-second of his salary at the date he retired for each year of service. The maximum is two-thirds of his salary. The Member contributes 11 per cent. of his basic salary towards this.

USA: There is a voluntary pension scheme for Senators and Members of the House of Representatives. Participants contribute 8 per cent. of their gross salary annually, and are eligible for an annuity at 62 years of age and after five or more years' service, or at 60 years of age after 10 or more years of service. The annuity is calculated at 2½ per cent. of the average of the salary of the three highest consecutive years, multiplied by the number of years of service, but cannot exceed three-quarters of the final salary.

asked the Lord President of the Council if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the pension and other retirement benefits available to Members of Parliament in the United Kingdom, the other countries of the EEC, Switzerland, Japan, the United States of America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 2nd May 1977; Vol. 931, c. 18], gave the following information:I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I have given today to the hon. Member for Wycombe (Sir J. Hall).