Clause 4. — (Definitions.)

Orders of the Day — Local Government and Other Officers' Superannuation Bill. – in the House of Commons on 23rd July 1922.

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In this Act unless the context otherwise requires— Aggregate service" means service as defined by this Section of any officer or servant with the addition thereto of any such period of service of such officer or servant as is to he aggregated with his service as so defined under the Section of this Act of which the marginal note is "reckoning service in case of transfer";Non-contributing service" means service rendered by an officer or servant prior to his becoming a contributor to the superannuation fund, or by an officer or servant who has attained the age of fifty-five at the date of the commencement of this Act;Officer," or "servant," means an officer or servant at the date of the commencement of this Act in the permanent service of the local authority or thereafter appointed, and in each case designated an officer or servant in an established capacity for the purposes of this Act by a resolution of the local authority, and whether in receipt of salary or wages, but does not include any person entitled, as an officer or servant of a local authority, to any pension or superannuation rights under any public general Act of Parliament;

"Salary" or "wages" means all salary, wages, fees, poundage and other payments (including any War bonus) paid or made to any officer or servant as such for his own use, also the money value of any apartments, rations or other allowances in kind appertaining to his office or employment, but does not include payments for overtime; Service" means whole-time or part-time service as an officer or servant after such officer or servant shall have attained the age of eighteen years, and (in the case of any person appointed after the commencement of this Act) after designation as aforesaid.

Amendments made:

In paragraph beginning "Aggregate service," leave out the words Aggregate service" means service as defined by this Section of any officer or servant with the addition thereto of any such period of service of such officer or servant as is to he aggregated with his service as so defined under the Section of th7s Act of which the marginal note is "reckoning service in case of transfer.

In paragraph beginning "Non-contributing service," leave out the words "prior to his becoming,' and insert instead thereof "in respect of which he is not a." Leave out the words "or by an officer or servant who has attained the age of fifty-five at the date of the commencement of this Act"—[Sir.4. Mond.]

In paragraph beginning "Officer" or "servant," leave out the words "at, the date of the commencement of this Act."

After the word "authority" ["permanent service of the local authority"], insert the words "on the appointed day."—[Sir H. Nield.

Photo of Sir Alfred Mond Sir Alfred Mond , Swansea West

I beg to move, in the paragraph beginning "Officer" or "servant," to leave out the words but does not include any person entitled, as an officer or servant of a local authority, to any pension or superannuation rights under any public general Act of Parliament. These words are considered to be unnecessary because they would detrimentally affect officers or servants of a local authority who derive their salaries from more than one office. The words as they stand create a hardship where the officer derives the greater part of his emoluments from the second office.

Photo of Mr Frederick Banbury Mr Frederick Banbury , City of London

I really do not see why these words should be left out. Surely it was never intended that a person who is entitled either as an officer or servant of a local authority to any pension or superannuation under any public general Act of Parliament should receive in addition superannuation from the rates. I do not understand why these words should be left out. I certainly think that they should remain in, and, unless I get a satisfactory explanation, I shall certainly divide upon the Amendment.

Photo of Sir Herbert Nield Sir Herbert Nield , Ealing

It is proposed to leave them out so that hardship should not be done to humble persons like police sergeants, or asylum officers, or persons who occupy minor positions. The small pension which they receive should not debar them from enjoying this superannuation, provided that the service in respect of which they receive that pension shall not be reckoned for superannuation under this scheme. An Amendment will be proposed to Clause 16 which will protect the ratepayers. We protect the superannuation fund from having to pay for such back service, but we do not disqualify a person from superannuation in respect of the service rendered to the authority. I hope sincerely that with that explanation my right hon. Friend will be satisfied.

Photo of Mr Frederick Banbury Mr Frederick Banbury , City of London

This is really a rather important point. A man leaves the police force and gets a large pension, and he gets taken on by a local authority—

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

The right hon. Gentleman is not entitled to make a second speech.

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mr Adam Rodger Mr Adam Rodger , Rutherglen

I beg to move, at the end of the Paragraph commencing "Salary or Wages," after the word "overtime," to insert the words nor does it' include any allowance paid to him to cover cost of office accommodation or clerks' assistance. I do not think that any sum paid for office accommodation or clerks' assistance should count for superannuation purposes.

Photo of Sir Herbert Nield Sir Herbert Nield , Ealing

I accept the Amendment, because, obviously, it would be unfair to allow a person to receive superannuation on money paid to him for his office or staff.

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Sir Alfred Mond Sir Alfred Mond , Swansea West

I beg to move, in the Paragraph commencing "Service," to leave out the words means whole-time or part-time service as an officer or servant after such officer or servant shall have attained the age of eighteen years, and (in the case of any person appointed after the commencement of this Act) after designation as aforesaid. and to insert instead thereof the words as respects an officer or servant of any local authority means whole-time or part-time service in the permanent employment of a local authority after such officer or servant has attained the age of 18 years—

  1. (a)rendered to that local authority whether before or after the appointed day; and
  2. (b) rendered before the appointed day to any other local authority of a kind which would have been reckoned as service for the purpose of paragraph (a) hereof; and
  3. (c) rendered after the appointed day to any other local authority which is under this Act permitted to he calculated for the purpose of calculating superannuation allowances.
The expression service,' when used in relation to service after the appointed day, means continuous service, amid, in relation to service rendered before the appointed day, means any service, whether continuous or not. The object of this Amendment is to define "service" in such a way as to enable officers to transfer from one local authority to another without loss of superannuation rights. There is a very important point of principle involved here as, unless this Amendment is inserted, it might prevent the promotion of the officers from one local authority to another, from smaller to wider spheres, and this might do a good deal of harm to efficient local administration in this country.

Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill," put, and negatived.

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."

Photo of Mr Frederick Banbury Mr Frederick Banbury , City of London

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed Amendment, to leave out the words "or part-time."

The result of this Amendment will be to confine the operation of the provision to whole-time service. I do not understand why part-time service should be entitled to a pension. As far as I know, it is not now pensionable and I should like to have some explanation from the right hon. Gentleman why it is proposed to make it pensionable and what is the reason for imposing this additional burden on the taxpayer, seeing that a man may only be engaged about an hour or two a day or one day a week by a local authority and yet be entitled to a pension in respect of that.

Mr. S. ROBERTS:

Suppose a man has been in the employment of a local authority which has not adopted the Bill, has therefore paid no superannuation contributions whatever, and then goes to another authority which has adopted the Bill, is he to be entitled to superannuation? Would not that mean that a man who is under an authority which has not adopted the Act will have very little chance later on in life of being taken over by an authority which has adopted the Act? Will they not say, "Here is a man getting on in life who has paid nothing into any superannuation scheme and who, if he comes to us, will get superannuation"? I am not quite clear whether that applies as between one authority that does adopt the Bill and another that does not.

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

It does not apply to this.

Photo of Mr Frederick Banbury Mr Frederick Banbury , City of London

May I ask if the right hon. Gentleman will give me an answer to my question as to why part-time service is included, and whether I am correct in thinking that as a rule in superannuation schemes part-time officials are not included?

Photo of Sir Alfred Mond Sir Alfred Mond , Swansea West

The reason for including part-time officers is because there are people like medical officers of health, who in many cases are not whole-time officers, who do come into superannuation schemes now, and whom it would be unfair to exclude from the benefits of this Clause. Otherwise they would be in a worse position than other people working under this scheme. I do not know whether there is a very large number of them, but I know that there are medical officers of health who are only part-time officers, carrying on their ordinary work and also acting for local authorities as medical officers of health at a salary, and who are in superannuation schemes at the present time.

Photo of Mr Frederick Banbury Mr Frederick Banbury , City of London

That, I think, shows how right I was in moving to leave out these words. As I understand it now, it applies to medical officers—

Photo of Sir Herbert Nield Sir Herbert Nield , Ealing

And clerks, in many cases

Photo of Mr Frederick Banbury Mr Frederick Banbury , City of London

—who do certain work and receive certain fees for doing it, as part-time work for these local authorities. What does that mean? It means that a medical officer, who may, for 29 days in the month, be working on his own account, carrying on his own business, and who for one day in the month happens to do some work for the local authority, becomes entitled to a pension. That seems to me to be absolutely absurd, and I trust that if there are any Members in the House who seriously desire economy, they will raise some question on this matter. There can be no earthly reason why a medical officer, only a part of whose work is done for the local authority, and who for the rest of his time is engaged in private practice, should have a pension. I am not at all sure that where a local authority employs a solicitor, and always employs the same solicitor, and, it may be, pays him a retaining fee, he would not come in under this scheme, and, because he is employed for part of his time by the local authority, would be entitled to a pension. I really do think we are going too far in this case, and I say again that I hope, if there are any hon. Members who are sincerely desirous of assisting in the reduction of expenditure, both local and national, that they will support me in moving the omission of these words.

Photo of Sir Herbert Nield Sir Herbert Nield , Ealing

I assure the right hon. Baronet that he has not the faintest idea of the working of a superannuation scheme. He is making a lot of statements at random, with the intention of prejudicing this Bill and the whole subject of superannuation, without having any real knowledge of it. He talked about a solicitor, because he was a solicitor to a public authority, being entitled to a pension. Nothing of the sort. A man can only he entitled to come into the superannuation scheme after a resolution has been passed, as will be seen later on in the Bill, by the authority, treating him as the servant of the authority. That is a very different thing. In the case of part-time clerks, there are many thousands of men in the smaller authorities throughout the Kingdom who would not be able to subsist on the salaries that they receive for their part-time services. My right hon. Friend forgets that the superannuation is based on the amount of the salary received. To whom much should be given, of course, much he would get; but the man who takes little has to base his superannuation on that little, and pays his half for it—because it is a contributory scheme. I do ask my right hon. Friend to consider that a matter like this, which has been threshed out in the greatest detail by the Minister for the protection of the ratepayers, ought not to be lightly attacked in this way.

Photo of Sir Henry Craik Sir Henry Craik , Combined Scottish Universities

My hon. and learned Friend mistakes the analogy of superannuation in the public service. He- says the right hon. Baronet knows nothing about it. I know something about the public service. In my experience we have bad legal and medical advisers, but it was never considered for a moment that they had any claim to superannuation. As soon as you require a medical or legal officer to give all his time, of course, you must provide him with a pension, but I am absolutely certain when I say that in no department of any public service has part-time work entitled a man to a pension. He gives it out of the time he can spare from other work. The other work is the main business of his life. He only gives the part service as a sort of secondary work. It has certainly never hitherto been the custom in the public service that a man who does occasional work that is required and has a retaining fee can claim superannuation in respect of that retaining fee.

Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

May I ask what the right hon. Baronet would do in the case of a man who is employed part time by four local authorities and does nothing else?

Photo of Sir Herbert Nield Sir Herbert Nield , Ealing

On a point of Order. I do not know whether this is not the third speech of the right hon. Baronet.

Photo of Mr Frederick Banbury Mr Frederick Banbury , City of London

The hon. and learned Gentleman most remember that. I moved the Amendment, and, under the Rules of the House, when a. Bill comes down from a Grand Committee, an hon. Member who moves an Amendment can speak as often as he likes. I was for many years Chairman of a superannuation authority; I have considerable knowledge of railway superannuation funds, and it is not the fact that those funds are satisfactory because they are contributory. They have only been rescued from insolvency by the generosity of the railway companies, who have contributed mach more than they were bound to. It is because I believe these schemes will impose a very heavy burden on the ratepayers that I am taking a small part in this discussion. This is an innovation in the public service.

Photo of Colonel Sir James Greig Colonel Sir James Greig , Renfrewshire Western

What we are attempting to do now is to make a fund which will support itself and not come to the terrible end as did the fund to which the right hon. Gentleman referred.

Photo of Mr Frederick Banbury Mr Frederick Banbury , City of London

My hon. Friend is under the impression, as most people are, that once you have a contributory scheme it will be all right. He has probably got actuarial support for that statement, but experience shows that it is not so. No doubt every precaution was taken to ensure that the railway schemes should be self-supporting, but as a matter of fact they have not been self-supporting, and the majority of them, if not all of them, would have been bankrupt. if it was not for the generosity of the railway company in coming forward and providing out of the pockets of the shareholders a sufficient sum of money to make the funds solvent.

Amendment to the proposed Amendment negatived.

Proposed words there inserted in the Bill.