HC Deb 13 February 1985 vol 73 c215W
Mr. Knowles

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when Her Majesty's Government expect to implement proposals that returning volunteers from developing countries should not lose title to contributory benefits simply because of their service overseas.

Mr. Newton

The class 1 (employed persons) contributions which many volunteers are liable to pay for their first 52 weeks abroad count towards the full range of contributory benefits. Those volunteers who satisfy the conditions for paying class 2 (self employed) contributions, and pay them, maintain their basic pension cover as well as earning title to most contributory benefits (but not unemployment benefit). Those volunteers who are not liable to pay class 1, or who do not pay class 2, contributions can usually pay class 3 (voluntary) contributions to maintain basic pension rights. A proposal to give further help to volunteer development workers who are unemployed when they return to this country is being considered but no decision has yet been taken.