HC Deb 17 October 1950 vol 478 c221W
80. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of National Insurance whether she is aware that old age pensioners who retire on reaching 65 years of age are held to have retired, in perpetuo, even though they subsequently return to regular work, and thus they forfeit both their pension under the earnings rule and their right to any increment of pension as a result of their continuance at work; and whether she will consider amending the National Insurance Act in order to remove this injustice.

Dr. Summerskill

A change such as that suggested would involve re-examination of the whole basis of the provision made for old age by the National Insurance Act, 1946. I have, however, noted the point for consideration on any future general review of the working of the scheme.

82. Mr. Renton

asked the Minister of National Insurance whether she is aware that, owing to the rise in the cost of living since old age pensions were fixed at their present rate, most old age pensioners are suffering severe financial hardship; and what steps she is taking to mitigate that hardship.

Dr. Summerskill

I cannot agree with the implication of the Question. A few months ago the National Assistance Board rates were increased and any pensioner whose pension is insufficient for his needs can apply for supplementation. Rates of pension under the Insurance Scheme could not be altered without reviewing the scheme as a whole.