Select Committee on Education and Employment Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum from Barnardo's

  Let me take this opportunity to deal with one specific question, "In what ways do other Government policies such as the New Deal help or hinder older workers, especially unemployed job seekers?"

  My major concern as an occupational pensions manager and member of my organisation's human resources management team is how we can retain older workers and I believe that the major hindrance is the way in which Government policy allows one set of workers to take a pension and continue to earn a salary and not another. Currently, those employees who joined the pension scheme before 1 June 1989 can take their pension at normal pension age and continue to work for the same company and earn a salary as well. The same rule does not allow those employees who joined the pension scheme after 1  June 1989.

  The solution to this dilemma is, I believe, to allow everyone from the age of 55 to take their pension and also earn a salary if that is what suits them with the safeguard that they can't rejoin the pension scheme as an active member. The Treasury seems to have real difficulties with this scenario yet there is no loss of tax revenue, indeed there is an enhancement as both the pension and salary are taxable.

  It is surely in no one's interest that for this to happen currently, a person must take their pension from one employer and seek employment with another. The retention of experienced and highly trained staff must be the preferred route.


January 2000

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