asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has given consideration to the possibility of introducing early retirement for regular Service personnel who served in the Second World War and in the Korean War on similar lines to the arrangements which exist in France, Australia and New Zealand; and if he will make a statement.
We have no plans at present to lower the minimum age for national insurance retirement pension either generally or in respect of any particular group. However, war veterans who are incapable of work by virtue of long-term sickness or disablement will usually be entitled to invalidity pension or unemployability supplement which ensures as a minimum the same level of income below pension age as retirement pension provides after it. Disabled men aged 60 and over in full-time work will also come within the scope of the job release scheme where they wish to retire and their employer is willing to replace them by someone from the unemployed register. The job release scheme is also now open to other men of 63 and over and the age of eligibility will be lowered to 62 on 1 February 1982.