§ Mr. Armstrong
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will make provision for young persons undertaking voluntary service overseas to be credited with National Insurance contributions so as not to prejudice their rights to benefit on return to this country.
§ Mr. Dean
No. Credits safeguard a person's entitlement to benefit during contingencies against which he is insured 107W under the National Insurance scheme. Voluntary service overseas is not one of these contingencies, and it would not therefore be right to credit contributions for this. Generally speaking volunteers can, if they wish, pay contributions at the Class 2 or 3 rates for periods abroad to preserve cover for some National Insurance benefits.