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Volume 128: debated on Wednesday 2 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will list the measures taken since 1979 to more closely approximate the state pension treatment of men and women.

Men and women who have paid full contributions throughout then working lives have had equal treatment since 1948. From 6 April 1979, the married women's half-test was abolished for women reaching age 60 on or after that date; the half-test was an additional contribution condition requiring married women to have paid full national insurance contributions in at least half the years between the date of their marriage and their retirement in order to receive a pension. The effect of the half-test for women reaching pension age before 6 April 1979 was abolished in the Social Security Act 1983 with effect from 22 December 1984. The Social Security Act 1985 also equalised the rate of pension payable to men, single women and married women entitled to a non-contributory category D pension.