Pensions (Increase) Act 1971

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1971 c. 56


Pensions (Increase) Act 1971

1971 CHAPTER 56

An Act to replace the Pensions (Increase) Acts 1920 to 1969 and make further provision for increases and supplements to be paid on certain pensions and related benefits.

[27th July 1971]

Be it enacted by the Queen'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 General Provisions

Part I

General Provisions

S-1 Present increases.

1 Present increases.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the annual rate of an official pension may, if any qualifying condition is satisfied, be increased by the pension authority in respect of any period beginning on or after 1st September 1971, as follows:—

(a ) a pension beginning before the year 1969 may be increased by the amount necessary to bring the rate up to the 1969 standard, that is to say, to the rate arrived at by applying to the basic rate of pension the multiplier given in Schedule 1 for the year in which the pension began, and by a further 18 per cent. of the rate as so increased;

(b ) a pension beginning on or before 1st April 1969 but not earlier than that year may be increased by 18 per cent. of the basic rate;

(c ) a pension beginning in the six months following 1st April 1969 may be increased by 16 per cent. of the basic rate;

(d ) a pension beginning in the six months following 1st October 1969 may be increased by 14 per cent. of the basic rate;

(e ) a pension beginning in the six months following 1st April 1970 may be increased by 10 per cent. of the basic rate;

(f ) a pension beginning in the six months following 1st October 1970 may be increased by 6 per cent. of the basic rate.

(2) In the case of a pension beginning before the year 1969 the increase authorised by subsection (1)(a ) above shall take the place of those authorised by the Pensions (Increase) Acts 1920 to 1969, but in the cases provided for by section 6 below shall be of the larger amount there specified by reference to increases that might have been made under those Acts.

S-2 Future reviews and increases.

2 Future reviews and increases.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the Minister for the Civil Service, as soon as may be after 31st March in the year 1973 and every second year thereafter, shall review the rates of official pensions against any rise there may have been in the cost of living during the review period, that is to say, the two years ending with that date; and if it is found that in the review period the cost of living has risen by four per cent. or more, then the Minister shall by order provide that the annual rate of an official pension may, if a qualifying condition is satisfied, be increased in accordance with the order in respect of any period beginning on or after 1st September next following the review period.

(2) Subject to subsection (3) below, the increases to be provided for by an order under this section shall be as follows:—

(a ) for pensions beginning on or before the first day of the review period the increase shall be in the proportion (to the nearest one-tenth of one per cent.) in which the cost of living has risen during the review period; and

(b ) for pensions beginning in the half year following that day or in any of the succeeding half years up to that ending with the day after the end of the review period, the increases shall be in the proportion (to the nearest one-tenth of one per cent.) in which the cost of living is found to have risen between the basis period for that half year and the end of the review period, if the cost of living in the basis period is taken as the mean of the monthly figures.

For purposes of paragraph (b ) above, the basis period for any half year is the six months ending with the first month of the half year or, if the cost of living is lower in the half year than in those six months, is the half year itself.

(3) Where the rise referred to in subsection (2)(b ) above is less for any half year than four per cent., there shall only be an increase for pensions beginning in that half year if there is one for pensions beginning in a later half year, and the increase (if there is one) shall be four per cent.; but where this subsection prevents there being an increase for pensions beginning in any half year, then the order made in respect of the next review period shall for those pensions authorise, instead of an increase calculated in accordance with subsection (2)(a ) above, such increase as would result if that prevented by this subsection had been made and were followed by one calculated in accordance with subsection (2)(a ) by reference to the rate as so increased.

(4) Where on any review under this section (including a review made by virtue of this subsection) it is not found that the cost of living has risen by four per cent. or more in the review period, then there shall be a further review in the next year for the same review period extended by twelve months; and if on a review made by virtue of this subsection it is found that the cost of living has risen by four per cent. or more in the (extended) review period, the provisions of this section shall apply accordingly, and later reviews shall be made at intervals of two years thereafter until this subsection again applies.

(5) On any review under this section the cost of living shall be assessed by such means as the Minister thinks appropriate.

(6) The increases in the rate of a pension that may be provided for by an order under this section are to be calculated, except as otherwise stated in this Part of this Act, by reference to the basic rate of the pension as authorised to be increased by section 1 above or by any earlier order under this section; but an order under this section may be made so as to incorporate the effect, in whole or in part, of section 1 above or of any earlier order under this section, and may repeal or amend any provision of that section or of any such order accordingly.

(7) An order under this section shall be made by statutory instrument, which shall be laid before Parliament after it is made.

S-3 Qualifying conditions.

3 Qualifying conditions.

(1) A pension shall not be increased under this Part of this Act unless one of the conditions laid down by this section (in this Act referred to as ‘qualifying conditions’) is satisfied.

(2) A pension payable in respect of the pensioner's own services shall not be increased unless the pensioner—

(a ) has attained the age of sixty years; or

(b ) has retired on account of physical or mental infirmity from the office or employment in respect of which, or on retirement from which, the pension is payable; or

(c ) is a woman who has at least one dependant;

or the pension authority are satisfied that the pensioner is disabled by physical or mental infirmity.

(3) A pension payable in respect of the services of any person other than the pensioner, not being the pensioner's deceased husband, shall not be increased unless the pensioner—

(a ) has attained the age of sixty years; or

(b ) has not attained the age of sixteen years; or

(c ) is receiving full-time instruction at an educational establishment; or

(d ) is undergoing training for a trade, profession or vocation in such circumstances that he is required to devote the whole of his time to that training for a period of not less than two years; or

(e ) is a woman who has at least one dependant;

or the pension authority are satisfied that the pensioner is disabled by physical or mental infirmity.

(4) A pension payable in respect of the services of the pensioner's deceased husband shall not be increased unless the pensioner—

(a ) has attained the age of forty years; or

(b ) has at least one dependant;

or the pension authority are satisfied that the pensioner is disabled by physical or mental infirmity.

(5) For the purposes of this section, a pensioner shall be deemed to be disabled by physical or mental infirmity if he is permanently incapacitated by such infirmity from engaging in any regular full-time employment.

(6) Subject to subsection (7) below, ‘dependant’ in this section means, in relation to a pensioner, a person who the pension authority are satisfied is wholly or mainly supported by the pensioner and who either has not attained the age of sixteen years or is receiving full-time instruction at an educational establishment or is undergoing training as mentioned in subsection (3)(d ) above.

(7) Where a pension payable to a woman at 31st August 1971 is then payable at a rate increased under the Pensions (Increase) Acts 1920 to 1969 by reason only that she is, and has since 1st April 1956 been, wholly or mainly supporting another person, being either—

(a ) her, or her deceased husband's, father, mother, brother, sister, child, uncle or aunt; or

(b ) the child of any such person as is mentioned in paragraph (a ) above; or

(c ) her step-father or step-mother; or

(d ) a person undergoing training for any trade, profession or vocation;

then so long as the pension authority are satisfied that she continues wholly or mainly to support that person and, if this subsection applies only by virtue of paragraph (d ), that person continues to undergo...

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