§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Lord President of the Council whether he will give, at the latest and most convenient stated date, the total number of hon. Members who retired before the age of 65 years, or relinquished their parliamentary seats for any stated reason, who were granted parliamentary retirement pensions on the ground of ill health; whether such a pension is reduced if the recipient is employed or receives payment for work of any kind after leaving the House; and what are the pensions of each of these persons, categorised in such a way as not to identify them.
§ Mr. Biffen
Since the passing of the Parliamentary and Other Pensions Act 1978, five former Members have applied for and been awarded ill-health pensions before they were 65.
Two of these Members left the House on appointment as Steward and Bailiff of the Three Hundreds of Chiltern, one on appointment as Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead and two did not seek re-election.
The pensions initially awarded ranged from between £1,500 to £3,500 per annum. Two were under £2,000 per annum, one between £2,000 and £3,000 per annum, and two were over £3,000 per annum.
There is no provision in the governing Acts whereby an ill-health pension once awarded may be withdrawn or abated unless the recipient becomes a candidate for election to the House of Commons, is so elected, or accepts appointment either as a Minister or paid office-holder.