§ 46. Sir B. Rhys Williams
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement upon the progress of his discussions with representatives of the Life Offices Association in regard to contracting out of the proposed new State superannuation scheme.
§ The Secretary of State for Social Services (Mr. Richard Crossman)
As I said in reply to a Question from my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Gorton (Mr. Marks) on 10th June, we have now issued a second consultative document on the contracting-out arrange-merits. The Life Offices Association is one of the organisations to which copies of both consultative documents have been sent, and we await their comments.—[Vol. 784, c. 249–50.]
§ Sir B. Rhys Williams
Would it not be better to call off this discussion and to admit that abatement is all very well in theory but in practice it will give rise to insoluble problems?
§ Mr. Crossman
I totally disagree with the hon. Gentleman. On the contrary, it is absolutely vital to the future of all pension schemes, whether private or public, that we should have an early announcement, if possible, of the agreement on contracting-out arrangements.
§ Mr. Boyd-Carpenter
Is it not a fact that, though the right hon. Gentleman answered the Question in terms of contracting-out, he has not offered contracting-out to those with whom he is negotiating and is offering no more than a very modified form of abatement?
§ Mr. Crossman
There was never any question of contracting-out of the whole scheme. As the right hon. Gentleman knows, under his scheme there was the flat rate, from which there was no contracting-out, and a small element on top from which there was. We are making a comparable arrangement, but with a wholly earnings-related contribution.