§ 22. Mr. Cordle
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if he will introduce legislation to exempt those who have retired from public service, either home or overseas, before the age of 65 years from the obligation of paying National Insurance contributions after their retirement.
§ Mr. N. Macpherson
No, Sir. I see no reason for treating these men any differently from other insured men who give up work before reaching the age of 65.
§ Mr. Cordle
Is my right hon. Friend aware that there are many thousands of Britons employed overseas on contracts in public or partly public service, such as universities and statutory corporations, who have previously worked here and feel compelled to keep up their National Insurance cards or else lose their retirement pay? Is my right hon. Friend aware that such people usually retire at 60 on gratuity or small pension, and often find it very difficult to get jobs here later? Will my right hon. Friend consider franking their cards at the retirement age of 60 when they get home if they cannot secure jobs?
§ Mr. Macpherson
I am afraid that I could not do that, because the National Insurance Scheme rests on the principle of universality and, in general, men are expected to contribute from the age of 16 to 65. If retired public servants were to be allowed to opt out of the Scheme, then I think it would be difficult to refuse the same kind of privilege to other contributors, whether retired or not.