State Pension Age: Women

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:55 pm on 30th November 2016.

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Photo of Damian Green Damian Green The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 4:55 pm, 30th November 2016

I am grateful to my hon. Friend, who is knowledgeable on such matters.

The hon. Member for Ross, Skye and Lochaber used to work in the financial services industry and has been a fund manager, so he knows what he is talking about. However, he must know that his characterisation of the national insurance fund as involving some kind of individual contract that relates what someone gets out of it to what they pay in is not true. The state pension is a social security benefit, funded through national insurance contributions.

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Andy Robertson-Fox
Posted on 3 Dec 2016 10:33 am (Report this annotation)

No, MR. Green, the State Pension is an earned entitlement and not a benefit as has been confirmed by, among others, four previous pensions ministers - if it was a benefit why is it not call the State Retirement Benefit administered by the Dept for Work and Benefits?

The reason it is not is because the state pension is not a gift, charitable offering or welfare payment but is earned by right.

On the day I signed for a NI Card the unwritten contract was that my National Insurance contributions - both mandatory and voluntary - would be converted into qualifying years for my pension - this would be paid from the date of retirement for the rest of my life, and the amount payable would be determined by the number of qualifying years accrued; 44 years earned full pension but no contributions meant no pension. That is the relationship between what one pays in and what one gets out.