HC Deb 13 November 1917 vol 99 cc230-1W

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether he is aware that soldiers and sailors below the rank of warrant officer who, by reason, of the amount of their income or for any other reason, are exempted from the provisions of the National Insurance Acts, are compelled to pay l½d. per week for national insurance benefits; and if he will put a stop to these compulsory payments in future and refund the amounts already paid?

[The hon. Member addressed a question in similar terms to the Secretary to the Admiralty.]


The hon. Member would appear to be misinformed; all soldiers other than those of the Regular Army are given the option of remaining uninsured if they have not been insured in civil life


All entries into the permanent Service, regardless of their incomes, are compulsorily insurable under Section 46, Sub-section (1), of the National Insurance Act, 1911, during their first engagements, the statutory rate of deduction from their wages being l½d. per week. In return, the men are eligible for maternity benefit during their service, and, except in cases of men totally disabled and discharged with war disablement pensions, to the full benefits of the Act on their discharge from the Service. Men who re-engage to complete time for pension are permitted to elect whether they will remain in insurance or not, and the deductions from wages are, continued during the second engagement only if the men elect to remain in insurance.

Reservists and men entered for hostilities only are compulsorily insurable after being called up or after entry into service only if they were in insurance immediately prior to such service. Such men, if not in insurance immediately prior to being called up, or to entry into service, are permitted to enter into insurance or not at their own option. The option once exercised is final, and the deductions from wages, which are at the rate of l½d. a week, as in the case of men of the permanent Service, are made only in the cases of men who are compulsorily or voluntarily insured.

Any case brought to the notice of the Admiralty in which an improper charge has been made is always adjusted.