The text of Mr Major’s written Parliamentary Answer on Supplementary Benefit on 28th October 1985.
Mr. Rooker Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will introduce legislation to compensate for loss of pension those unemployed persons taking a reduced early pension in consequence of the supplementary benefit notional resources regulations; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what is his estimate of the number of unemployed persons in receipt of supplementary benefit, whose benefit is reduced because they have an entitlement to an early reduced pension from a former employer;
(3) how many submissions have been made to his headquarters from local offices in respect of deductions in supplementary benefit to unemployed persons who have a choice of a reduced early pension from a former employer.
Mr. Major Regulation 4(2)(a) of the Supplementary Benefit (Resources) Regulations (SI 1981/1527) provides that any resource which would become available to a member of the assessment unit upon application duly being made, but which has not been acquired by him may if, in the opinion of the adjudication officer it is reasonable in the circumstances to do so, be treated as if it were possessed by him.
Information on the number of persons to whom this provision has been applied because of entitlement to an early reduced pension is not available. Our headquarters received one submission on the matter in 1981 and I understand that the office of the Chief Adjudication Officer has in recent weeks given guidance to a local office in an individual case. We have no plans at present either to amend the existing law or to introduce legislation providing for compensation in such cases.