HC Deb 10 February 1971 vol 811 cc197-8W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Lord President of the Council whether he will give the terms and conditions upon which former Prime Ministers are entitled to draw a £4,000 per annum pension; what other persons who were Members of Parliament or servants of the House of Commons are allowed to draw pensions and on what basis; whether these pensions arise from a contributory pension scheme; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Whitelaw

Under Section 3(3) of the Ministerial Salaries Consolidation Act, 1965, any person who has held office as Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury after 31st March, 1965, is entitled to a non-contributory pension of £4,000 a year. The conditions attaching to the payment of that pension were given in the reply of my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary to the Civil Service Department on 2nd February.—[Vol. 810, c. 350.]

It is traditional for a non-contributory pension to be granted by Act to a retiring Speaker. The traditional condition attaching to payment requires one-half of this pension to be abated if a former Speaker holds any office under the Crown for which the remuneration equals or exceeds the amount of the pension.

Since 16th October, 1964, under the Ministerial Salaries and Members Pensions Act, 1965, Members of Parliament have had a contributory scheme providing pensions subject to completion of 10 years' reckonable service and attainment of age 65.

The pension, which is payable for life, apart from periods during which the pensioner again becomes a Member of Parliament or is a candidate for re-election, is calculated on the basis of £60 per annum for each year of contributory service up to a maximum of 15 years plus £24 per annum for each additional year up to a maximum of 30. Up to 10 years service prior to 16th October, 1964, is allowed to reckon without contributions from the Member.

Officers and officials of the House of Commons are paid pensions by analogy with the Superannuation Act, 1965, and thus receive non-contributory superannuation benefits subject to the same conditions as civil servants. Subject to 10 years' reckonable service and a minimum age of 60, a pension of 1/80ths and a lump sum of 3/80ths of the last 3 years average salary is payable in respect of each year of reckonable service up to a maximum of 40 at age 60 and an overriding maximum of 45. The pension is subject to abatement in the event of reappointment in accordance with the provisions of Section 12 of the Act; the pension payable may not exceed the amount required to make good any shortfall between the salary of the new appointment and that from which retirement took place.