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Pensions And Benefits (Comparisons)

Volume 979: debated on Wednesday 20 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how the rate of retirement pensions compares with that of unemployment pay and supplementary benefit for single women over 55 years.

The standard rate of basic retirement pension for a single woman is £23·30 a week. The standard rate of unemployment benefit for a single woman under pension age is £18·50. For a single woman over pension age who has not retired, the rate of unemployment benefit is normally equivalent to the rate of retirement pension that would have become payable if she had retired at pension age.Additional sums may be payable on top of these amounts depending on individual circumstances. In the case of retirement pension, these may include earnings-related additional pension, graduated pension, and increments for deferred retirement. In the case of unemployment benefit, women under 60 may receive an earnings-related supplement, and both retirement pensioners and single unemployed women would be eligible for supplementary benefit to the extent that their resources—including retirement pension and any unemployment pay—fell short of their requirements by supplementary benefit standards. The requirement of a householder would be set at £23·70 for a person over 60 and £18·30 for an unemployed woman under 60, together in each case with provision for rent. For a non-householder the requirement including rent would be £20·65 and £16·35 respectively.