HC Deb 02 December 1980 vol 995 cc73-4W
Mr. Michael McGuire

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will provide details in the Official Report of the various pension schemes for Members of Parliament in the countries of the EEC, including such details as lump sum payments, contributions—expressed as a percentage of salary—and death in service payments, and so on; and how such schemes compare with those for judges, and those in the civil and public service, especially the police and firemen.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

The latest information available centrally about pension schemes for Members of Parliament in the countries of the EEC is as follows:

Belgium Members of Parliament pay 6½ per cent, of salary to a contributory pension scheme. If they have served for eight years or more they qualify for a pension at the age of 55, equivalent to 3.75 per cent of salary for each year of service.

Denmark After eight years' service ex-Members of Parliament are entitled to a pension at age 67, but the Speaker and his Deputies can authorise payment from an earlier age. Rates are linked to Civil Service pensions and are adjusted for cost of living increases. Pensions are abated if the ex-Member of Parliament receives State old-age pension and/or any other public sector (including ministerial) pension. The total pension may not exceed the highest Civil Service rate.

France A contributory pension is available at age 55. The size of the pension varies with the number of years over which contributions have been paid.

Federal Republic of Germany Members of Parliament pensions are non-contributory. Entitlement is from age 65 with eight years' service; from 60 with 12 years; from 55 with 16 years. Rates vary between 35 percent, and 75 per cent, of final basic salary.

Irish Republic There is a compulsory contributory pension scheme for all deputies and senators. After a minimum of eight years' total service a pension of 1/40th of salary per year of service is payable on retirement. This rises to 2/3rds of salary after 27 years service.

Italy Deputies and senators belong to a compulsory contributory pension scheme. After five years' service and age 60, a retired Member of Parliament receives a taxable pension depending on the number of Parliaments in which he has served. The amount of pension varies from 25 per cent, of gross salary after five years' service up to a maximum of 85 per cent, after 35 years.

Luxembourg There are no parliamentary pensions. Few Members of Parliament are full-time politicians and most have other occupations.

The Netherlands There is a non-contributory pension payable at age 65 for Second Chamber Members. For every year of service up to a maximum of 20 years they receive 3.5 per cent, of their average salary earned over the last three years of office.

United Kingdom Hon. Members contribute 6 per cent, of salary to the pension scheme. Provided that they have four years' reckonable service, once they have left the House of Commons they qualify at age 65 for a pension of l/60th of pensionable salary for each year of reckonable service. A full pension may also be paid to an ex-Member who retires at the age of 62 and who has 25 years' service. An actuarially reduced pension may be paid from age 60.

I regret that information about public service pension schemes generally in EEC countries is not available centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. The interpretation of such comparisons may not be straightforward, as it is necessary to take account of differing national backgrounds and traditions. The provisions of the United Kingdom Parliamentary Pension Scheme are broadly comparable with those of most main public services in this country.