§ Mr. George Rodgers
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the criteria that will be applied when the withdrawal of unemployment benefit to retired persons takes place.
§ Mr. Orme
The precise rules are still under consideration, but we have in mind a provision whereby the receipt by male occupational pensioners aged between 60 and 65 of occupational pensions above a specified level would mean a 5p for 5p reduction—or extinguishment—of any unemployment benefit, both flat-rate and earnings-related, to which they were 851W otherwise entitled for themselves and any dependants. As to the level of pension above which the reduction in unemployment benefit would start, we have in mind a figure of some £25 a week. Principal legislation will be needed to give effect to the proposals.
§ Mr. Mudd
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if his proposal to withdraw unemployment benefit from prematurely retired men will apply retrospectively; on what date he proposes the measure shall take effect; and what will be the position of a man aged 61 years planning premature retirement on 1st August 1976.
§ Mr. Orme
I hope that it will be possible to operate the new provisions affecting the unemployment benefit entitlement of men with substantial occupational pensions, aged between 60 and 65, from about halfway through the 1977–78 financial year. We are proposing that the restrictions should apply both to those men who are receiving unemployment benefit at that time and to those who subsequently claim benefit. Until the details of the proposals have been settled, however, it is not possible to give advice about individual cases.