§ Mr. PARTINGTON
asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether the actual expenditure of the Manchester Unity on national insurance benefits has exceeded the actuarial estimates?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
I have seen a statement in the Press on the matter referred to. The suggestion which it contains that the expenditure of the Manchester Unity Independent Order of Oddfellows is in excess of the actuarial estimates rests upon a fallacy. No account has been taken of the fact that since 12th October, 1913, the higher benefits provided by the1268W Act of 1913 have been in operation. That Act provided increased benefits for all persons who had entered insurance over the age of fifty, a provision which probably affected the Manchester Unity in a special degree, as the proportion of older members in the society appears to be above the general average. The reserve values credited to the societies have been increased accordingly, and the actuarial estimates taken for any such comparison as that made in the article should, of course, have been similarly increased. The figures there given cover a total period of eighteen months, half before and half after 12th October, 1913, and the expenditure for each of these periods is shown separately. It will be seen that the expenditure for the first nine months is on the whole below the actuarial estimates given, which are the appropriate estimates for a society of normal age distribution during that period. The expenditure shown for the next nine months, as explained above, is necessarily higher because of the additional benefits then coming into operation, but I am informed that if these extra benefits (which, as stated, carry correspondingly increased reserve values) are allowed for, as of course they should be, the expenditure of the society as a whole, as stated in the article, would remain within the actuarial estimates for the whole period of eighteen months ending 5th July, 1914, as well as for the first period ending 12th October, 1913.