Old Age and Widows' Pensions Act 1940

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1940 c. 13


Old Age and Widows' Pensions Act, 1940

(3 & 4 Geo. 6.) CHAPTER 13.

An Act to reduce to sixty years the age at which women may become entitled to old age pensions under the enactments relating to widows', orphans' and old age contributory pensions; to provide for increasing certain contributions payable under those enactments; to make provision for supplementing, in cases of need, pensions payable under the said enactments to widows who have attained the age of sixty years, and old age pensions, and for making consequential adjustments in respect of the General Exchequer Grants payable to local authorities which are public assistance authorities; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

[21st March 1940]

B E it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Women's Contributory Pensions.

Part I.

Women's Contributory Pensions.

S-1 Reduction of age at which old age pensions become payable and adjustment of contributions.

1 Reduction of age at which old age pensions become payable and adjustment of contributions.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Part of this Act, the age at which an old age pension under the Contributory Pensions Acts may become payable to a woman, whether as an insured woman or as the wife of an insured man who has attained the age of sixty-five, shall be reduced to sixty.

(2) An old age pension shall not, by virtue of the provisions of this section, accrue in respect of any period before the commencement of this Part of this Act.

(3) For the purpose of making further provision towards the cost of pensions payable under the Contributory Pensions Acts—

(a ) the ordinary rates of contributions payable under the principal Act shall be increased, in the case of contributions payable in respect of men who have not attained the age of sixty-five by twopence per week, and in the case of contributions payable in respect of women who have not attained the age of sixty by threepence per week, and of the said increases one penny per week shall be payable by the employer and the remainder by the employed person;

(b ) the rates of the contributions payable by virtue of paragraph (b ) of subsection (1) of section twelve of the principal Act shall be increased, in the case of contributions payable in respect of men who have attained the age of sixty-five by one penny, and in the case of contributions payable in respect of women who have attained the age of sixty by one penny; and

(c ) the rate of the contribution payable under subsection (1) of section twenty of the principal Act shall be increased by twopence.

(4) Contributions shall cease to be payable by virtue of paragraphs (a ) (c ) and (d ) of subsection (1) of section twelve of the principal Act by or in respect of women who have attained the age of sixty.

(5) For the purpose of giving effect to the foregoing provisions of this section, the provisions of the Contributory Pensions Acts specified in the first column of the First Schedule to this Act shall have effect subject to the amendments set out in the second column of that Schedule.

(6) The foregoing provisions of this section (including the amendments set out in the second column of the First Schedule to this Act) shall, except so far as they relate to the rates of the contributions payable by virtue of paragraph (b ) of subsection (1) of section twelve of the principal Act, not apply in relation to women who have attained the age of sixty-five before the commencement of this Part of this Act, or in relation to special voluntary contributors, or in relation to the wife of any such contributor unless she is herself insured otherwise than as such a contributor.

S-2 Consequential amendments of enactments relating to unemployment insurance and national health insurance.

2 Consequential amendments of enactments relating to unemployment insurance and national health insurance.

2. References in the Unemployment Insurance Acts, 1935 to 1939, and the National Health Insurance Acts, 1936 to 1939, to the age of sixty-five, except any reference relating to service which would be contributory service within the meaning of the enactments relating to teachers' superannuation, shall, in relation to women, be construed as references to the age of sixty.

S-3 Transitional provisions.

3 Transitional provisions.

(1) Regulations may be made by the Minister under the principal Act for the purpose of avoiding hardship which might otherwise be occasioned during the transitional period to women who, immediately before the commencement of this Part of this Act, were insured under the Contributory Pensions Acts or the National Health Insurance Acts, 1936 to 1939, by reason of their being ineligible for benefits for which they might have been eligible under those Acts as they were in force before the commencement of this Part of this Act, and such regulations may, in particular, provide that such women may, after attaining the age of sixty and until they attain the age of sixty-five, be, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by the regulations, entitled during the period aforesaid—

(a ) in the case of women insured under the Contributory Pensions Acts to continue to qualify for old age pensions at any rate payable under those Acts;

(b ) in the case of women insured under the National Health Insurance Acts, 1936 to 1939, to payments at the rate of ten shillings a week (hereinafter referred to as sickness payments) in respect of any periods in which they may before old age pensions begin to accrue to them be rendered incapable of work by some specific disease or bodily or mental disablement.

(2) Regulations may be made by the Minister under the principal Act for the purpose of avoiding hardship which might otherwise be occasioned during the transitional period to widows who, immediately before the commencement of this Part of this Act, were insured under the National Health Insurance Acts, 1936 to 1939, and entitled to widows' pensions, by reason of their being ineligible for benefits for which they might have been eligible under those Acts, as they were in force before the commencement of this Part of this Act, and such regulations may, in particular, provide that such widows may, after attaining the age of sixty and until they attain the age of sixty-five, be, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by the regulations, entitled during the period aforesaid to payments at the rate of ten shillings a week (hereinafter referred to as sickness payments) in respect of any periods in which they may be rendered incapable of work by some specific disease or bodily or mental disablement.

(3) Regulations may be made by the National Health Insurance Joint Committee under the National Health Insurance Acts, 1936 to 1939, with respect to the administration of sickness payments, and such regulations may, in particular, make provision as to the bodies by or through which such payments are to be administered, as to the keeping of accounts of sums expended on such payments and the determination of the amounts chargeable in respect of expenses of such bodies as aforesaid in connection with the administration of such payments, and as to the audit of such accounts and expenses, and regulations so made may apply any of the provisions of the said Acts, with or without modifications.

(4) Women who, immediately before the commencement of this Part of this Act, were insured contributors under the Unemployment Insurance Acts, 1935 to 1939, or under the enactments relating to unemployment insurance in force in Northern Ireland shall, after attaining the age of sixty and before they attain the age of sixty-five be entitled during the transitional period to such benefit and during such periods as they would, if this Act had not been passed, have been entitled to under the Unemployment Insurance Acts, 1935 to 1939, by virtue of contributions paid before they attained the age of sixty, or before the commencement of this Part of this Act, whichever is the later.

(5) On the application of the body charged with the administration of any special scheme made under the Unemployment Insurance Acts, 1935 to 1939, the Minister of Labour may by order vary or amend the provisions of the scheme in such manner as may be necessary to secure that during the transitional period women who immediately before the commencement of this Part of this Act were persons to whom the scheme applied shall after attaining the age of sixty and before they attain the age of sixty-five, be entitled to benefits under the scheme not less favourable than those provided with respect to insured contributors by the provisions of the last foregoing subsection.

(6) In this section the expression ‘transitional period’ means the period beginning with the commencement of this Part of this Act and ending with the thirtieth day of June nineteen hundred and forty-five.

S-4 Adjustment of reserves of approved societies.

4 Adjustment of reserves of approved societies.

(1) The Government Actuary shall estimate and certify, in respect of each approved society having women among its members, the amount by which the liabilities of the society in respect of benefits other than additional benefits are reduced by reason of the passing of this Part of this Act, and the amount specified in the certificate shall thereupon be debited in the account of the society in the National Health Insurance Fund, the Scottish National Health Insurance Fund, or the Welsh National Health Insurance Fund, as the case may be.

(2) Of the funds of every society set free by the...

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