§ Mr. David Atkinson
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people of pensionable age do not receive a State retirement pension because they have not contributed to the national insurance scheme; and how much it would cost to provide such a pension to them.
§ Mr. Prentice
About three-quarter million people who have reached pension age, including married women relying on their husband's entitlement whose husbands are not retired, receive no retirement pension because of deficient contributions records. But it would not be acceptable to pay a full-rate basic pension to these people and not to a further 2½ 45W million receiving reduced rate pensions, because of deficient contributions records, the bulk of whom are married women receiving the lower-rate pension on their husband's contributions.
The net cost of paying a full rate pension to all these people, after taking account of some saving on supplementary pensions, would be over billion at November 1979 rates of benefit.