11 JULY 1908, Page 16


[To THE EDITOR OP THE "SPECTATOR."] Si,—Mr. Hart-Davis has rightly judged that in my letter, of June 27th I referred to the Stoke and Melford Association. The letter in your last issue from one of the honorary secretaries of the Dunmow Society may render superfluous any further reference to the Stoke and Melford Club. Still, in answer to the inquiries of Mr. Hart-Davis, it may be stated that old-age pensions have been paid by the club for at least forty years, and that the actuaries who have valued its funds have been all of the highest reputation. The basis of valuation as to the length of life expected was taken as that of the Man- chester Unity Tables, and where the experience of the Society showed a longer duration of life than that expected, a corre- sponding addition was made in the valuation to the liabilities for pensions. Necessarily part of the payment of the various claims is taken from the income of existing capital, and this capital was of course partly earned before any pensions were paid; but it must be remembered that from the very first a portion of the members' payments was set aside as provision for the time when the Society should become liable for the annuity charge. The pension system was not an afterthought, but an original object of the Society.—I am, Sir, &c.,