HC Deb 03 December 1946 vol 431 cc55-6W
120. Major Legge-Bourke

asked the Minister of National Insurance why it is impossible to consider the requests of elderly people that they should be able to make retrospective contributions so as to qualify for retirement pensions under the National Insurance Act.

Mr. J. Griffiths

The provision made for retirement pensions in the National Insurance Act is based on insurance principles, including the payment of contributions throughout working life, and it would be contrary to those principles to allow elderly persons, by the payment of retrospective contributions or a lump sum, to secure a title to pension earlier than would otherwise be the case. The fact that elderly persons, who are within 10 years of pensionable age at the date when the new scheme starts, and who then become insured, will be able to qualify for a retirement pension after a minimum period of 10 years insurance represents a very considerable concession which could not be extended without imposing a heavy extra burden on the taxpayer.