§ Mr. Sarwar
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if staff at the Contributions Agency aged 60 years or over were allowed to continue in employment on a year-to-year basis until the age of 65, prior to the Agency's transfer from the Department of Social Security. 
§ Dawn Primarolo
In July 1996, the Contributions Agency (CA) advised its staff that they were considering changing the normal retirement age because the Agency was faced with a need to reduce staff numbers. After lengthy consultation with Trade Union Side, the CA gave notice in August 1997 that with effect from 31 July 1998 the normal retirement age for all staff would be 60. As a transitional measure, people could be retained for up to 12 months, but not beyond age 62 for people at pay bands B2 and B3 (equivalent to Executive Officer level); and not beyond age 65 for people in pay bands up to and including B1 (equivalent to Administrative Officer level). No extensions of service were to be given beyond 31 July 1999.