HC Deb 25 April 1972 vol 835 cc234-5W
40. Mrs. Sally Oppenheim

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, assuming 5 per cent. interest and the payment of maximum contributions by employee and employer since July, 1948, what part of the current pension is paid for by the past contributions of the pensioner; and what part is paid for from taxation for a single man and a married couple, respectively.

Mr. Dean

Retirement pensions are paid from the National Insurance Fund which is financed on a pay-as-you-go principle. About 83 per cent. of the income of the Fund comes from current contributions of insured persons and employers and about 16 per cent. from taxation by way of the Exchequer supplement.

On an actuarial calculation, assuming 5 per cent. interest, the proportion of the current standard pension covered by the contributions of a single man who has paid an average of 50 flat-rate contributions per year and the maximum graduated contributions, and who reaches pension age and retires today would be about 19 per cent.; about the same proportion would be covered by the contributions paid by the man's employer. For a married man whose wife is five years younger than himself the proportion would be about 8 per cent. in either case.

Mr. George Grant

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make arrangements to allow retirement pensions and widows' pensions to be paid by Giro or into a bank if so requested.

Mr. Dean

The pensions are subject to certain continuing conditions, and before each payment is made pensioners have to sign a receipt confirming that these conditions are satisfied. This precludes payment direct into a Giro or bank account, although there are arrangements under which these pensions can be paid quarterly or monthly in arrear by crossed orders negotiable through such accounts.