§ Mr. Madel
asked the Minister for the Civil Service what arrangements are being made to compensate adequately those prematurely retired from the Home Civil Service or the Diplomatic Service who have served in places scheduled under Section 25 of the Superannuation Act, 1965.
§ Mr. David Howell
Staff who have served in places scheduled under section 25 of the Superannuation Act, 1965, will be able to choose, if they are prematurely retired, between retaining the enhanced benefits by way of higher pension and lump sum and lower retiring age which they have earned as a result of service in scheduled territories, and forgoing these in return for an additional capital sum calculated on the basis of 3 per cent. of pensionable salary for each year of scheduled service. Those who retain their enhancement under Section 25 will have any further benefits, apart from resettlement leave, calculated in relation to their reduced minimum retiring age; for those who forgo their enhancement any further compensation will be calculated on the same basis as for staff with no service in places scheduled under Section 25.
§ Mr. David Howell
The Fulton Committee and the Duncan Committee both made recommendations which pointed to the need to improve the terms of compensation for those prematurely retired from the Home Civil Service and the Diplomatic Service. As a result, the circumstances in which civil servants and members of the Diplomatic Service may be retired before the minimum retiring age (other than on grounds of ill-health) and the compensation to be paid in these circumstances have been reviewed in depth in the course of intensive discussions with the Staff Side of the National Whitley Council and the Trade Union Side of the Joint Industrial Consultative Committee. The Staff Side are now consulting their constituent organisations on the proposed new arrangements and improved compensation terms with a view to a final decision in the near future.
As part of the new arrangements a distinction will be drawn between staff in the Home Civil Service at and above Executive Officer level and its equivalents, and those below that level; in future staff in the lower grades will no longer (except in a few cases) have to be prepared to serve anywhere in the country and compensation will be paid when no work is available within reasonable daily travelling distance of their homes.
The mobility obligations of staff in the higher grades will not be changed but it will become possible, subject to certain safeguards, to call on them to retire prematurely in the public interest; for example if their performance no longer adequately measures up to the requirements of their jobs, or where there is a very bad age distribution in a particular grade leading to serious promotion blockage and consequent difficulty in the management of that part of the Service. We see no reason to expect large-scale retirements on these new grounds, but we agree with the Fulton Committee that arrangements of this kind are necessary to maintain a high level of efficiency in the Civil Service. They will complement the present arrangements for retiring people on grounds of inefficiency.
Provision will be made for all civil servants and members of the Diplomatic Service who are prematurely retired to 122W have their cases considered by an independent Appeal Board if they so wish.
Mobile staff under age 40, or at any age with less than 10 years' service, who are retired on redundancy or otherwise in the public interest will receive a compensation payment of one month's pensionable pay for each year of service, progressively augmented for those over the age of 31 to a maximum of three months' pay for each year of service after the first five completed after the age of 36. Those with between two and nine years' service will also receive a payment of 3/80ths of pensionable pay for each year of service; those with 10 years or more will have their pension benefits preserved for payment at retiring age.
Mobile staff retired prematurely in these circumstances over the age of 40 and with more than 10 years' service will be compensated by an annual payment equivalent to 1/80th of their pensionable pay for each year of service, enhanced by up to a further 1/12th of pensionable pay, together with a lump sum equivalent to 3/80ths of pensionable pay for each year of service, enhanced in the same proportion as the annual payment. They will also receive a special compensation payment of up to six months' pensionable pay and those who have spent at least two out of their last five years of service abroad will get up to six months' resettlement leave.
Established staff who no longer have a mobility obligation, and unestablished staff with at least two years' service, retired prematurely will receive two weeks' pensionable pay for each of the first five years' service, three weeks' pay for each of the next five years' service and four weeks' pay for any further years, augmented by a further two weeks' pay for each year of service completed after the 40th birthday, subject to a maximum of 2 years' pensionable pay in all. Established staff with 10 or more years' service will be able to preserve their pension benefits for payment at the retiring age or, if they are over 55, take them at once instead of the compensation payments; if they have between two and nine years' service they will get an additional capital sum based on 3/80ths of pensionable pay for each year of service. These terms will also apply to mobile staff retired on grounds of inefficiency.123W
These compensation terms will be paid at management discretion when no suitable alternative job is available; payments other than those at normal pension rate will be reduced progressively if retirement is in the last few years before the minimum retiring age.
It is proposed to pay the new terms, where they will be more favourable, to all staff retired from the Home Civil Service on abolition of office or from the Diplomatic Service on redundancy, structural grounds or for limited efficiency since March, 1969. Legislation will be introduced in due course to give effect to the new terms of compensation; the new grounds for premature retirement from the Home Civil Service will take effect from the date of the legislation.
Separate discussions are also in progress on the most appropriate way of giving financial recognition in future to the particular problems faced by staff serving in certain posts abroad. This is at present treated as a superannuation matter under Section 25 of the Superannuation Act, 1965.