HC Deb 02 February 1897 vol 45 cc1049-50

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that, under existing arrangements, a national teacher in Ireland of the first class, assuming he commences to teach at the age of 18 years, would, after 20 years' service, be entitled to a pension of only £6 a year and that a third-class teacher would' after 30 years' service, be entitled to a pension of only £10 a year; is he aware that the Irish National Teachers' Pension Fund is insolvent through no fault of the teachers but through mistakes made by Government actuaries; and will the fund be placed in a position of solvency by special grant, and without deducting for such purpose any sum from the arrears of school grant due to Ireland under the Education Act of 1892?


The pensions at the two periods would, I understand, be those stated in the Question. In practice the teachers prefer a gratuity to a pension—and they would receive £95 and £116 respectively. English teachers entered since 1862 receive no pension. It is not possible within the limits of an answer to explain the causes which have led to the present condition of the fund, but one important cause is the fact that existing teachers are paying much less than is required to produce one-fourth of the benefits, and have thus materially profited by the error in the original calculation. The steps to be taken to place the fund in a sound position are now engaging the attention of the Government.


I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if it is a fact that an Irish national teacher who commences to teach at the age of 18 years can claim full pension only after a service of 43 to 46 years; is there any other department of the public service in which so long a term of service is required in order to secure full pension; and could he state what are the periods of service after which teachers in elementary schools in Great Britain are permitted to retire on full pension?


I understand that the teacher described would, if a man, receive full pension at the age of 61, after 43 years' service; and if a woman, at 58, after 40 years' service. The teachers are pensionable under a special code. But I may say it frequently happens in the Civil Service that the full pension is not earned until after more than 40 years' service. I am informed that no teacher in Great Britain who entered since 1862 is entitled to pension, and that the rules under which pensions are given to those who entered before 1862 are so different from the Irish system that no comparison can be instituted; but I believe them to be on the whole not more favourable to the teachers than the Irish system.