§ Mr. Madel
asked the Minister for the Civil Service whether he is satisfied with arrangements under the Superanuation Act, 1965, for compensating civil servants who are prematurely retired; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. David Howell
We have just completed a detailed study of the arrangements for compensating civil servants and diplomats who are prematurely retired from the Service for reasons other than ill-health, and have put proposals for discussion in confidence to the National Staff Side, the Trade Union Side of the Joint Co-ordinating Committee and the Diplomatic Service Staff Side.
The study was concerned with the appropriate levels of compensation for all staff and paid regard to the practices of leading industrial firms. It took account of the recommendations of the Duncan Committee (Cmnd. 4107) and also considered the recommendation of the Fulton Committee (Cmnd. 3638) that a new procedure should be introduced into the 451W Home Civil Service to deal with those officers whose retirement was "desirable in the public interest", and recognised the increasing difficulty of requiring staff at more junior levels to a accept a countrywide mobility obligation and basing redundancy compensation on this requirement. It also included a review of the relevance in present day conditions of the arrangements whereby service in certain places abroad attracts enhanced pension benefits and a reduction in the retiring age and possible alternative arrangements to cover such service.
The staff representatives will naturally wish to consider these complex proposals very carefully and this will take a little time. Discussions are continuing and all concerned are well aware of the desirability of early agreement at a time when the cessation of some Government activities will probably result in some Civil Servants being prematurely retired. I hope to be in a position to give the House full details of the terms early in the new year.