Former Civil Servants

Oral Answers to Questions — Duchy of Lancaster – in the House of Commons at 1:40 pm on 4 February 1998.

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Photo of Mr Howard Flight Mr Howard Flight Conservative, Arundel and South Downs 1:40, 4 February 1998

What representations he has received on the economic circumstances of former members of the Civil Service who took a gratuity on leaving the service in the 1960s and 1970s. [25365]

Photo of Mr Howard Flight Mr Howard Flight Conservative, Arundel and South Downs

I thank the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster for his detailed letter setting out the contractual history. Has the Minister any estimate of the number of female former civil servants whose pensions have been either lost or reduced as a result of their taking gratuities? The situation may be contractually correct, but did those individuals receive the same standard of advice that is now expected of those advising people on their pension arrangements?

Photo of Peter Kilfoyle Peter Kilfoyle Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

No estimate has been made, and the hon. Gentleman knows the difficulties in trying to do so. As to some rearrangement after this period of time, the hon. Gentleman knows that that is an actuarial rather than a political or administrative point. Those who took the marriage gratuity before 1972 were, in the context of their time, advantaged. Oddly enough, the people who were disadvantaged were those who chose to leave the civil service before the age of 50, both male and female.