20 JANUARY 1950, Page 16

A Pension Paradox

SIR.—Your Dumfriesshire correspondent refers to the " self-employed " under-sixty-fives. But what of the self-employed over-sixty-fives? Not even the magic of N.I. 28 can do anything for them. I was 66 on June 24th, 1948. On July 1st, 1948, I made application to be entered, like your correspondent, on a voluntary basis, only to be told that they could not take me on at any price. In effect the Ministry of National Insurance said to me: " You are a thoroughly wicked old fellow. You ought to have taken the precaution of being born seven days later. (Or it may have been one year and seven days later.) We can do nothing for you whatever. You must abide the consequences. And as for your wife, though she is years younger than you, and would have qualified as a single woman, she has committed the unpardonable folly of being the wife of an uninsurable over-sixty-five, and will get no pension if you predecease ner."

Obviously, in the interests of the tens of thousands of " self-employed " over-sixty-fives, I must, after March 6th, torment the new Government of whatever complexion it is, to get these ridiculous age-limits abolished. The present Government, so far as this issue is concerned, is dead and buried, being no longer subject to any pressure from the House of Com- mons.

I am not unknown in your correspondence columns, but on this occasion I venture to sign anonymously.—I am, yours faithfully, X.Y.Z.