§ Lord Balniel
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what progress has been made in respect of the arrangements for contracting out under the National Insurance Act, 1959.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
As my noble Friend will be aware, Regulations governing the appointment and procedure of the Registrar of Non-Participating Employments and the Adjudicator were made in November and December last. Since then I have submitted to the National Insurance Advisory Committee two sets of draft Regulations; the first, the Assessment of Graduated Contributions Regulations, deals with the contribution position of people in the graduated scheme; the other, the Assurance of Equivalent Pension Benefits Regulations deals with the preservation of the equivalent pension rights of employees who are contracted out of the graduated scheme. With the making of these two sets of Regulations, the detailed structure of the new scheme so far as it concerns those considering contracting out will be substantially complete.
Graduated contributions will be due from the first week of April, 1961, for all employed persons then earning more than £9 a week, in respect of whom a certificate under Section 7 of the Act has not been issued by the Registrar.
As I told the House last July, the Registrar (then Registrar designate) has since then been available to employers for informal consultations about the requirements for contracting out. Application for a certificate under Section 7 may be made at any time, whether before or after April, 1961, but employers who wish to have certificates in force at the beginning of the new scheme should allow sufficient time, in making their applications, for the Registrar to be able to deal with them by that date. In cases where a certificate, even though applied for, has not been issued by April, 1961, graduated contributions will be payable from then until such date as the certificate is issued and takes effect.