HC Deb 05 April 1971 vol 815 cc57-8W
Mr. Redmond

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether immi- grants coming to the United Kingdom over the age when insurance contributions should commence for full pension benefits, receive pensions following commencement of contributions on a pro rata basis on reaching pensionable age; and what proof is provided by them of their actual age.

Mr. Dean

The insurance test for a retirement pension is a minimum of 156 paid contributions, together with an average of at least 13 paid or credited contributions for each year between age 16 (or 5th July, 1948 if this is later) and pension age. The rate of pension varies with the average of yearly contributions between 13 and 50, so that an immigrant coming to the United Kingdom after age 16 from a country with which we have no reciprocal agreement will, if he satisfies the contribution conditions, be entitled to a pension which is very approximately proportionate to the period of time he has been here. An immigrant from a country with which we have a reciprocal agreement may be entitled to pension on a different basis in accordance with the terms of the agreement.

Proof of age is normally provided by a birth certificate, but where one is not available the claimant is required to produce secondary evidence, which is considered together with any other evidence available to the Department.