§ Mr. Madel
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what proposals he has for implementing Council directive 86/378/EEC on the principle of equal treatment for men and women in occupational social security schemes.
§ Mr. Scott
The Social Security Bill published today includes provisions to equalise treatment for men and women in occupational schemes. The Occupational Pensions Board will be given powers to assist schemes to modify their rules to conform with the equal treatment requirements, but scheme rules which by 1 January 1993 do not comply will be overridden so that the more favourable treatment accorded to persons of one sex will apply equally to persons of the other sex. An exception to the general principle of equal treatment will he allowed for survivors' benefits, and we intend to introduce an amendment during the passage of the Bill permitting schemes to retain in accordance with the terms of the directive different ages at which retirement benefits come into payment.