§ 23. Mr. Skinner
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will bring in a scheme for voluntary earlier retirement for all at 60 years of age in accordance with the principles introduced in the mining industry.
§ Dr. Boyson
No. The mineworkers' pension arrangements have been negotiated on a voluntary basis with64W particular reference to the situation in that industry and it would not necessarily be right to apply the same principles throughout the country on a universal basis.
§ 43. Mr. David Atkinson
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will introduce plans to allow for voluntary retirement for men at 60 years on a state pension.
§ Dr. Boyson
All men aged 60 and over and not in full-time work are now eligible to claim supplementary benefit at the long-term pension rate. The job release scheme also provides scope for voluntary retirement before normal pension age and from October it will offer scope for partial retirement. Payment of full state retirement pension from age 60 would involve a huge extra cost which must be ruled out for the foreseeable future. The Government are still considering the alternative proposals for more flexible pension age arrangements which were put forward in the Social Services Committee's report on "The Age of Retirement."