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Volume 976: debated on Friday 21 December 1979

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asked the Minister for the Civil Service if he proposes to make any changes in the basis upon which the pensions of former public servants who retired between 1976 and 1979 are paid.

The Government have considered carefully and sympathetically the many representations they have received, both direct from the public service pensioners concerned and from representative organisations acting on their behalf, about the effects of incomes policy on the pensionable pay of those who retired between 1976 and 1979. They recognise that this effect on pensions has been one of the unfortunate results of the last Government's incomes policy. The cost of increasing these pensions to the levels received by those who retired before or after the period of pay restraint would, however, be very considerable. In each case pensions have been calculated strictly in accordance with the rules of the relevant pension schemes and they are fully protected against price inflation. The Government have therefore concluded that they cannot take steps to improve the relative position of those whose pensions have been affected by past incomes policy. They recognise that this decision will be a disappointment to those concerned, but they cannot agree that, at a time of severe restraint on public expenditure, measures to improve these pensions should take priority over many other pressing demands.

asked the Minister for the Civil Service what was the level of pension for a full general, a permanent secretary and a deputy secretary in 1972; and what is the present level of these same pensions to the latest available date.

The levels of pension payable to a full general, a permanent secretary and a deputy secretary who retired on 30 November 1972 after a full career are set out in column 1 below. The present levels of these same pensions after the application of pensions increase to 1 December 1979 are set out in column 2.

pension payable on 1 December 1972pension payable on 1 December 1979
Permanent Secretary7,217†19,531
Deputy Secretary4,799†12,988
* Assumes the maximum of 34 years, reckonable service since age 21
Assumes reckonable service of 37 years, the average service of permanent secretaries and deputy secretaries retiring in 1972 after a full career in the Civil Service.