§ Mr. G. Campbell
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will publish the Report of the Government Actuary on his investigation of the National Health Service Superannuation Scheme for Scotland for the period ending 31st March, 1955; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. J. S. Maclay
Yes. The Report is being published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office tomorrow and copies will be placed in the Library of the House.
The Government Actuary found that on 31st March, 1955, there was a deficiency in the Scheme of £6.0 million. Of this £1.5 million was an initial deficiency mainly attributable to decisions taken at the inception of the Scheme to recognise the existing rights and expectations of those transferred to the National Health Service when it was set 14W up, and to the entry into the Scheme at that time of persons at ages above the normal ages of entry to the Health Service. Most of the remainder of the deficit is attributable to increases in wages and salaries since 1948.
It is proposed that the deficiency should be dealt with as follows. The superannuation account will be credited with £1.5 million representing the "initial" deficiency. An accounting adjustment will be made retrospectively from 1948 in order to meet a deficiency of £0.2 million arising from payments in respect of practitioners who maintain individual policies. Interest will no longer be paid on contributions returned to employees who voluntarily leave the Health Service before becoming entitled to any superannuation benefit. It is estimated that this will produce a saving of about £0.1 million. The balance of the deficiency, viz., £4.2 million, will be liquidated over a period of approximately twenty years by increasing the rate of the employer's contribution by a special supplementary rate of 1½ per cent. of salary. Employees' contributions will remain at present rates.
The staff interests concerned are being informed and their observations invited. Thereafter, I shall lay the necessary Regulations before Parliament.