asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he has any plans to extend the home responsibilities protection to those who have worked less than 20 years on a pro-rata basis.
Home responsibilities protection (HRP) reduces the number of qualifying years (years in which national insurance contributions are paid or credited) needed for a basic retirement pension at the full rate. HRP cannot reduce the number of qualifying years required to less than 20. With the maximum number of years of HRP a full basic pension could be earned from 20 qualifying years. With maximum HRP and contributions paid or credited for less than 20 years a reduced rate basic pension will be payable. For example, a woman requiring 39 qualifying years for a full rate pension who had 19 or more years of HRP would also need another 20 qualifying years for a full pension. Ten qualifying years (i.e. half the number required) plus 19 years HRP would give pension at 50 per cent. of the standard basic rate. Five qualifying years would give pension at 25 per cent. of the standard rate. No pension is payable where the qualifying years amount to less than 25 per cent. of the required number of years. We have no present plans to change these arrangements.