HC Deb 18 June 1974 vol 875 c182
1. Mr. Boscawen

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will take steps to ensure that where a married woman's entitlement to a retirement pension rests on her husband's contribution record, but where they are legally separated or awaiting a decree absolute, the woman should have the right to be informed whether or not her husband's contributions affecting her pension have reached the required yearly average of not less than 50 per annum.

The Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Security (Mr. Robert C. Brown)

Where this information is requested it can normally be given.

Mr. Boscawen

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that this is an anomaly which causes a great deal of concern to a number of women long after they have left their husbands, and that it needs to be made clear to them that they can ask for this information, which will enable them to make their contributions? Whatever happens to the married women's option, this residual anomaly will go on for a very long time. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will consider what I have said.

Mr. Brown

I thought that I had made the position clear in my original answer. The question of confidentiality arises. We are as helpful as we can be with women in this position, bearing in mind considerations of confidentiality.