§ Sir K. WOOD
I beg to move, in page 95, line 33, to leave out from the beginning to the word "subject," in page 96, line 2, and to insert instead thereof the words:(1) Where any officer by whom the annual contributions required by the Poor Law Officers' (Superannuation) Act, 1896 (in this Act referred to as "the Act of 1896"), have been made is, by virtue of this Act, transferred to the service of any council, then, if the council to whose service he is transferred have no superannuation scheme or if, in the case of an officer transferred to the service of a council who at the appointed day have such a scheme, he gives, within three months after the appointed day, notice in writing to that council that he elects to remain subject to the provisions of the Act of 1896, that Act shall apply to him subject to such modifications as the Minister may by order direct, and shall continue so to apply to him so long as he is in the service of the council of any county or county borough until, under such statutory provisions as may be made for the superannuation of persons employed by the councils of all counties and county boroughs, there becomes applicable to him a superannuation scheme not less favourable than that provided by paragraph (a) of the next following Sub-section.(2) As respects any such officers as aforesaid who, having been so transferred to the service of a council who at the appointed day have a superannuation scheme, do not give notice in accordance with the provisions 584 of the last foregoing Sub-section, the provisions of the Act of 1896 shall cease to apply and the following provisions shall have effect:(a) in the case of officers transferred to the service of a council who have, on or before the appointed day, adopted the Local Government and other Officers' (Superannuation) Act, 1922 (in this Section referred to as "the Act of 1922"), whether alone or in combination with any other local authority, the provisions of the Act of 1922 shall apply to them while in that service.This Amendment deals with a matter with which many Members of the House are familiar—that relating to the superannuation of Poor Law officers under their Superannuation Act, and the conditions which will arise in consequence of this Bill. My right hon. Friend the other day had a conference with the representatives of these officers, and discussed the matter with them. As I had the opportunity of saying in Committee, it is the intention and desire of the Government that these officers should be treated in a just and fair way, and, as a result of that conference which my right hon. Friend had with them, this Amendment now appears upon the Paper. Its effect is this: It allows the existing officers a right of electing to remain under the Act of 1896, even though their new employer may have a superannuation scheme under the Act of 1922 or under a local Act, but also by agreement with them—and I think it makes for their advantage—this option is limited, and the duration of the option is that if Parliament should make provision for the extension of the Act of 1922 to all counties and county boroughs which have not local Acts, and for transferability between these counties and county boroughs and those which have local superannuation Acts, then they would all come under the Act of 1922 or the local Act, as the case may be. I think the new proposals on the Paper will secure unanimity, and secure to these officers what they desire, that is, the option of remaining under the present Act, or coming under the new Act in the way I have indicated. That is a matter to be settled by the officers themselves, and I am sure the House will desire to implement the agreement which has been made between my right hon. Friend and the association concerned.
§ Mr. MELLER
I have been authorised to say, on behalf of a very large body of these Poor Law officers, that they appreciate very much the way in which their application has been met. The Clause as it stood, no doubt, would have inflicted very great hardship upon men who have been paying for 30 years, and some for a shorter period, on the assumption that they were to receive certain benefits from a scheme which was not only authorised by an Act of Parliament, but which, in their view, was substantiated and made secure by payment of the rates. These men have gone on for a number of years anticipating that those rights would not be interfered with, and they felt a great deal of anxiety when they saw this Clause. Although the Poor Law officers, perhaps, have not received everything they asked for—nobody anticipated that they would get it—they are deeply grateful for what they have received, and I think it is a pleasant thing to know that a body comes forward and says, "Please express our appreciation of what has been done."
There is, at least, one other thing which arises out of this Clause, and which, I doubt not, the Minister at some future time intends to carry into operation, and that is that the provisions of the Local Government (Superannuation) Act, 1922, shall become obligatory in those cases where there are no existing schemes. There is a very large body of men who have done excellent service in local government, and who are hanging on, unable to leave the service because no superannuation has been provided. I think it will be an improvement to the local government service, and will be rendering an act of justice to those men if the Act of 1922 is put into operation as soon as possible.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Sir K. WOOD
I beg to move, in page 97, line 16, to leave out from the beginning to the end of line 2, page 98, and to insert instead thereof the words:(b) in the case of officers transferred to the service of a council who have not, on or before the appointed day, adopted the Act of 1922 but who have on that date some other superannuation scheme, the council shall prepare and submit to the Minister an amending scheme for applying the superannuation scheme to those officers while in that service and for adequately protecting their rights and interests, and upon the amending scheme being approved by the Minister, with or without modifications, the 586 superannuation scheme shall have effect as thereby amended.(3) For the purpose of the foregoing provisions of this Section, the expression 'superannuation scheme' includes any scheme for ensuring benefits to an officer on retirement.This is a consequential Amendment.
§ Amendment agreed to.