§ Sir W. de FRECE
asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been called to the difficult position of men of 65 who are unable to satisfy the conditions for the grant of an old age pension, even though they may have been partially insured during the specified period of five years; and whether he will consider what, if any, steps can be taken to assist them in the five years which must elapse before they reach the qualifying age of 70?
§ Sir K. WOOD
I am not clear what particular type of case my hon. Friend has in mind. If he is referring to the case of a man who has not been continuously insured for a period of five years on attaining 65, I would point out that such a man can qualify for pension as soon as five years of insurance are completed. If on the other hand he has in mind the case of a man who has completed five years of insurance, the qualifying conditions, viz., payment of 104 contributions and an average of 39 contributions a year over the last three years, weeks of sickness and of unemployment counting for the latter purpose as weeks for which contributions were paid, cannot be regarded as difficult or hard conditions of a contributory pensions scheme.