§ Commander Pursey
asked the Minister of Defence why the present rate of long service pension for able-seamen, private and aircraftmen, after 22 years' service, was fixed at £2 7s. 8d.; and by how much this is below National Assistance and unemployment and sickness benefit and retirement pensions.
§ Mr. Watkinson
In 1958, the Government accepted a recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Recruiting that £2 4s. was the correct weekly rate of pension for an able-seaman, private or50W aircraftman after 22 years' service. They also accepted a recommendation that pay and pensions should be reviewed biennially from 1960.
The review carried out in 1962 showed that an increase to £2 11s. 4d. was justified. In the circumstances obtaining at the time, however, the Government decided to pay the increases in two equal instalments; in the case of the 22-year long-service pension for the able-seaman, this produced a weekly rate of £2 7s. 8d. during the financial year commencing on 1st April, 1962.
The Table below shows the extent to which the long-service pension rate falls below National Assistance scale rates, unemployment benefit, sickness benefit, and retirement pension. The Service pension is, of course, solely a reward for service and is to be distinguished from payments under the social services.
—— — Shortfall £ s. d. £ s. d. 1. Service Pension Able-seaman, with 22 years' service (rate effecting from 1st April, 1962) 2 7 8 — 2. National Assistance scale rates Single householder 2 13 6 5 10 Married couple 4 10 0 2 2 4
1. These scale rates provide for needs other than rent, which is allowed for in addition.
2. The first 15s. 0d. a week of a long service pension is normally disregarded when a person applies for National Assistance.
3. Standard rate unemployment benefit/sickness benefit/retirement pension Single 2 17 6 9 10 Married 4 12 6 2 4 10
Note: National Insurance benefits are not affected by the receipt of a Service pension.