HC Deb 08 April 1968 vol 762 cc864-5
10. Mr. Worsley

asked the Minister of Social Security whether she will seek to introduce arrangements whereby a man on reaching retirement can opt to forego his state retirement pension payable under the National Insurance scheme on the understanding that this pension can be paid with any necessary adjustments to his wife, in addition to her normal widow's pension, if she becomes widowed.

Mr. Pentland

Such a personal option would involve additional administrative costs and complexities which could not be justified for individuals already more favourably placed than the general body of retirement pensioners.

Mr. Worsley

But would not the hon. Gentleman be a little more constructive about this proposition? Would he not see that this is considered in the general review which is supposed to be taking place, since it would bring into the scheme a desirable element of flexibility?

Mr. Pentland

No, I cannot agree, because the only people who could take advantage of such a scheme are those with considerable resources in addition to the National Insurance retirement pension, and perhaps not all of them would want to allocate their pension in this way.