Orders of the Day — Parliamentary and Other Pensions Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:22 pm on 27th April 1987.

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Photo of Mr Peter Brooke Mr Peter Brooke Minister of State (HM Treasury) 9:22 pm, 27th April 1987

There is a hazard in our getting too deeply drawn into the details of the scheme, given the fact that it is not the purpose of the Bill to change the rules at this juncture.

The right hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Stepney asked another question about which I can give some information to the House. He said that Members of Parliament aged between 60 and 65 with at least 20 years' service who retired received pensions while those who lost an election did not. That was changed in 1984, and I am delighted to say that, after the age of 60, it makes no difference whether a Member was defeated in an election or retired.

The right hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Stepney, my hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Sir A. Kershaw) and others mentioned the resettlement grants for those aged over 65. As they recognised, resettlement grants are not part of the pensions scheme and the arrangements for determining their size and the qualifications for receiving them are not affected by the Bill. They are fixed by resolution of the House following recommendations from the TSRB, and we have no plans to change the rules in the near future. I heard what was said in the debate, but those who are aged over 65 receive a lump sum and a pension from the pensions scheme. No doubt that influenced the decision that there would be no resettlement grants as well.