Beveridge: Provisional Rates Of Benefit And Contribution

401. The provisional post-war rates of benefit, allowance and grant, suggested on the assumptions as to level of prices stated in para. 231 in  shillings per week are as follows :—

Unemployment, Disability and Training Benefit. Man and not gainfully occupied wife (joint benefit) 40/-

  • Man with gainfully occupied wife not on benefit … 24/-
  • Single man or woman aged 21 and upwards 24/-
  • Single man or woman, aged 18-20 …20/-
  • Boys or girls 16-17..15/-
  • Married woman gainfully occupied when herself on benefit 16/-

Retirement Pension (after transition period)

  • (Retirement  Pension  and Guardian  Benefit are subject  to partial reduction for earnings.)
  • Man and not gainfully occupied wife (joint pension) 40/- basic
  • Single man or woman, man with gainfully occupied wife, woman contributor with husband below pensionable age (single pension) … 24/- basic
  • Addition to basic pension’ for postponement, in respect of each year of postponement—
    • On joint pension 2/-
    • On single pension 1/-

Maternity Benefit (13 weeks)

Married woman gainfully occupied whether paying contributions or exempt, in addition to maternity
grant   36/-

Widow’s Benefit (13 weeks) 36/-

 Guardian Benefit* 24/-

Dependant Allowance

Dependant above age for children’s allowance of person receiving unemployment, disability or training benefit 16/-

Children’s Allowance

For each child when responsible parent is in receipt of any benefit or pension, and for each child after the first in other cases, allowances graded by age averaging over all children in addition to existing provision in kind. 8/-

Industrial Pension

  • For total disability   …  Two-thirds of assessed weekly earnings, but not more than £3 a week and not less than would have been paid as disability benefit and dependant allow­ance if any.
  • For partial disability…………..Pension proportionate to loss of earning power.


Marriage…………………………. Up  to  £10  according to  number  of  contri­butions.
Maternity………………………… £4

Funeral (Funeral grant is not payable in respect of any person above age of 60 at beginning of scheme.)

  • Adults                  £20
  • Age 10-20 years   £15
  • Age 3-9 years        £10
  • Under 3 years     £6

Industrial to be determined in accord with   Regula­tions (para. 334).

402.    The rates for particular benefits are based on the following con­siderations:—

(a)    There should be a uniform rate, joint and single respectively, for unem­ployment, disability and training and the basic rate for retirement pension should be the same as this.   The joint rate should apply irrespec­tive of age; the single rate should be lower for persons below 21 years of age than for adults.

(b)    For married women gainfully occupied, maternity benefit should be at a rate materially higher than the single rate for unemployment or dis­ability, while unemployment and disability benefit should be materially below the single rate.    These special rates should apply to all married women irrespective of age.

(c)     Widows’ benefit during the period of re-adjustment should be materially above the single rate for unemployment or disability.

(d)    Guardian benefit should be such as to enable the widow, with allowances for every child, to have sufficient for subsistence without earning, and should be subject to reduction of a proportion of any earnings made by her.

(e)     The addition to basic pension where retirement is postponed should be less than the full actuarial value of postponement, so that the advantage of postponement is shared between the contributor and the Social Insurance Fund.

(/) The unemployment and disability benefit for boys and girls is put l/-below the rate of dependant allowance. This will mean that I/- less is paid when boys and girls are themselves unemployed or sick than if they are dependants and the person upon whom they depend is unemployed or sick. The difference is not a matter of great importance, but is probably right, in view of the fact that boys and girls of this age will be living with older people and while those older people have earnings can be maintained in part from those earnings. When those earnings cease, there must be subsistence both for the dependent boy or girl and for the adult.

403. The provisional rates of weekly contribution suggested to secure the provisional scale of benefits are as follows:—


Class I

Age 21 and upwards  …

18-20     ……………………..
16-17     ……………………..

Class II

Male Female

Insured Person



Insured Person



‘  4/3










2/6 2/-


Age 21 and upwards …
18-20 ……………………….

16-17 ……………………….







Class IV            
Age 21 and upwards …
18-20 ……………………….





16-17 ………………………




Note.—If the marriage grant is omitted, the contributions of insured females aged 21 and upwards and 18-20 in Classes I and II can be reduced in each case by 3d.

404. Determination of the relative contributions for men and for women depends on considerations explained by the Government Actuary in regard to the several benefits in paras. 18, 21 and 29 of his Memorandum.    In respect of unemployment a change has been made from present practice, by charging the difference between the joint rate for man and wife and the single rate for a man wholly to the man’s contribution so as to increase the man’s contribu­tion relatively to that of the woman; this principle has been applied also to disability on the introduction of joint benefit and dependant allowance.    The general result is that, in spite of the equalisation of benefit rates for single men and single women, the total contributions proposed for men in the new scheme show a greater increase on present rates than the contributions for women. Thus the joint contribution for an adult man, which is now 44d., is raised to 90d., that is to say to slightly more than double, while the joint contribution for an adult woman, which is now 37d., is raised to 72d., that is to say to rather less than double.    The employee’s own contribution in the case of a man is raised as from 22d. to 51d ;  in the case of a woman from 19d. to 42d.

405. The contributions shown in para. 403 include contributions assigned for health and rehabilitation services as follows :—

                                                  Male                    Female

Age 21 and upwards      …        10d.                      8d.

18-21        …………………………… 8d.                      6d.

16-18       ………………………        6d.                       6d.

In Class I these contributions are divided approximately as to l ½ d. by the employer and the balance of 8 ½ d. or 6 ½ d. by the employee in the case of adults. In Classes II and IV the whole contribution is paid by the insured persons. It is contemplated that in virtue of these contributions insured persons will receive for themselves and their dependants comprehensive medical treat­ment and post-medical rehabilitation services, including general, specialist, domiciliary and hospital treatment, and nursing and subsidiary services without a charge for treatment. This, as stated, is subject to the further enquiry as to the finance and organisation of the health service suggested in para. 437. If, as a result of that enquiry, it were decided to require some additional payment for hospital treatment, either by way of voluntary con­tributions or by a charge on treatment, the question would arise of amending the proposed contributions.

406.     The rates of contribution suggested for boys and girls, particularly in Classes II and IV, may need further consideration in the light of educational policy.    It is desirable that boys and girls should at an early stage be brought into the Social Security Scheme, and become familiar with it, but exactly how they should be treated depends upon development of educational policy.

407. The benefits and contributions suggested above relate to persons aged 16 and upwards.    No specific proposals can be made in regard to boys and girls under 16 until educational policy is decided.    The general principle is that up to 16 at least boys and girls should be considered from the educational standpoint.    In so far as they work for gain, insurance contributions should be paid by them and their employers.    Any payment of cash benefit to them should be combined with continued supervision and education.

408. The general rates of benefit and contribution set out in paras. 401 and 403should be regarded as subject to investigation of the desirability and practicability of adjustment to special circumstances in the following cases :—

(a)      Provision  of  a lower  rate  of benefits   (other  than  retirement   and industrial pensions) and corresponding lower contribution in particular regions or occupations (paras. 214-215).

(b)      Provision of a higher rate of benefits (other  than retirement and industrial pension) and corresponding higher contribution in London and in other regions where costs of living are exceptionally high (paras. 214-215).

(c)      Different distribution of the joint contribution between employers and insured persons, increasing the employer’s share where  either  (a)  a weekly rate of wage is below a certain level, or (b) the sum paid as wages from which deduction of the insured person’s contribution has to be made is below a certain point.

(d)      Provision of a reduced contribution for a short period of employment e.g. for 2 days or 3 days only.

(e)      Provision of reduced contributions for persons working under contracts of apprenticeship.

Practical examination of all these possibilities depends very largely upon the general level of benefit and contribution that may be determined finally. They are appropriate matters for investigation by a Committee analogous to the suggested Social Insurance Statutory Committee.