HC Deb 21 February 1966 vol 725 cc4-5
7. Mr. Carter-Jones

asked the Minister of Labour if he will take steps to protect the pension rights of redundant workers; and if he will make a statement.

19. Sir J. Eden

asked the Minister of Labour what steps he now proposes to take to recure the full transferability of pension entitlements.

The Minister of Labour (Mr. R. J. Gunter)

I have nothing to add to the reply I gave the hon. Member for Hitchin (Mrs. Shirley Williams) on 7th February.

Mr. Carter-Jones

Is my right hon. Friend aware that considerable hardship is being experienced by people who are declared redundant after giving long service to firms and are not allowed to take their pension rights with them? Many of them have stayed with firms out of loyalty, and, consequently, many of the things they hoped to acquire are lost to them through no fault of their own. Will my right hon. Friend please take some action in this matter?

Mr. Gunter

I am very much aware of the problems which arise when workers are made redundant. The Report of the Committee of the National Joint Advisory Council draws special attention to that question. I hope that consultations will take place in the very near future.

Sir J. Eden

Would not the Minister agree that, in order to facilitate the mobility of labour, full transferability of pension rights should be brought about as quickly as possible? Can he give any indication of how soon this will become official Government policy?

Mr. Gunter

We are awaiting the result of the deliberations on what is a very complex problem. One of the factors which we have to face, and which the Committee faced, was that transferability should be applied to mobility of labour in every case, whether it be caused by redundancy, voluntary leaving, or whatever it may be. We want to get fully to grips with transferability.

Mr. William Clark

If the right hon. Gentleman's Government will not give a pledge on this matter, we on this side of the House will. As soon as the Government scuttle, we will put the legislation into operation.

Mr. Gunter

I rather detect a fear of redundancy on the hon. Member's part.

Mr. H. Hynd

What was done in this connection during the reign of the last Government?

Mr. Gunter

There were very long deliberations.