J P Hilton's Superannuation Allowance
When the BMB's first General Manager (JPH) retired
on March 24th 1946 he discovered that his annual pension
allowance was not to be as high as he believed it should be.
The following extracts from the Bank's Minutes
and Correspondence by JPH describe the situation.

Special Bank Committee meeting, March 4th 1946


The Committee considered the facts contained in a letter from the General Manager to the City Treasurer dated the 20th February, 1946, on the question of the computation of Mr Hilton's superannuation allowance on his retirement.


7898   RESOLVED:- That, having regard to the special circumstances set out in the above mentioned letter from the General Manager to the Treasurer, this Committee strongly urge that the whole of Mr Hilton's Local Government service should be regarded as full contributory service for superannuation purposes by the substitution of 60th for 120th in respect of his former Poor Law service, and that the Finance Committee be recommended accordingly; also that Councillor Cooper and Alderman James be requested and empowered to support this recommendation before the Finance Committee or appropriate Sub-Committee if required.



The relevant section of the legislation:


Extract from the Local Government Superannuation Act, 1937.


Section 8.


(2) The superannuation allowance to be made to a contributory employee under this Part of this Act shall be on the following scale, that is to say:


(a) in respect of every completed year of contributing service, one sixtieth of his average remuneration;


(b) in respect of every year of non-contributing service, one one-hundred-and-twentieth of his average remuneration:


Provided that:


(i) in the case of any particular employee, the employing authority may, on his becoming entitled to a superannuation allowance, resolve that there shall be substituted for the said fraction of one one-hundred-and-twentieth any larger fraction not exceeding one sixtieth;


(ii) an employee shall be entitled, if he pays a sum or sums calculated in such manner and payable at such time or times as may be prescribed, to receive in respect of any year of non-contributing service a prescribed fraction of his average remuneration larger than one one-hundred-and-twentieth but not exceeding one sixtieth.


(3) No superannuation allowance under this Part of this Act shall exceed two-thirds of the employee's average remuneration.



Mr Hilton's letter to the City Treasurer


February 20th 1946


Dear Treasurer,


As you are aware, I shall reach the retiring age of 65 years on the 24th March next.


On making enquiries as to procedure, etc under the Local Government Superannuation Act, I am surprised to learn that it is proposed to base my allowance on 35/60th of salary and not upon the full 40/60ths, on the grounds that my previous Poor Law services will not rank as contributory services.


My public service dates back to 1905, when I was appointed Assistant Clerk to the Rochdale Union; in 1911 I became Deputy Clerk to the West Bromwich Union, and in 1916 I became Manager of the Birmingham Corporation Savings Bank. THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE PERIOD THERE HAS BEEN NO BREAK IN MY PUBLIC SERVICE, AND DEDUCTIONS HAVE BEEN MADE FOR SUPERANNUATION PURPOSES ALSO WITHOUT BREAK FOR OVER 40 YEARS. The deductions were made under the Poor Law Officers' Superannuation Act, 1896, and have been made under the various schemes applicable to the Birmingham Corporation.


Had I remained with West Bromwich until Boards of Guardians were abolished, either the West Bromwich Corporation or Birmingham Corporation, or the County Councils of Staffordshire or Worcestershire, would have had to take me over as a transferred officer or compensate me for loss of office. In fact, many of my former colleagues in the Poor Law Service were taken over by Birmingham, and some are receiving Superannuation allowances based on 60ths for the whole of their public service and not divided, as is apparently intended in my case. Because I came to Birmingham before the Guardians were abolished, it is held that I do not come within the definition of a "transferred officer", and that I am not a "contributory employee", except in so far as my service relates to the Birmingham Corporation. NO PART OF MY CONTRIBUTIONS HAS EVER BEEN RETURNED, AND I HAVE RECEIVED NO COMPENSATION. These facts being indisputable, I consider it would be unfair to calculate my retiring allowances on the basis which has been indicated to me.


I submit that the Legislature must have had in mind cases where a variation of the calculation would be more equitable, by the fact that the 1937 Act empowers the employing Committee to substitute 60th for 120th in the calculation for Superannuation allowance, and I respectfully ask that the power may be exercised in my case, as I believe it has been exercised in other cases where the circumstances were considered justifiable.


I base my claim for your consideration on four grounds, viz:


1. That my public service has been unbroken for over 40 years.


2. That I have contributed to the appropriate Superannuation schemes without break for over 40 years.


3. That I have not had returned to me any portion of my contributions, nor been granted any compensation.


4. That the circumstances in my case are unique, and unlikely to constitute a precedent, because the position of transferred Poor Law Officers to Local Authorities is covered by the 1937 Act.


Although I have no wish to unduly stress my claim, I feel I should mention that when I came to Birmingham in 1916, I made an important financial sacrifice and took serious risks in view of the temporary constitution of the Bank. This was realised by the then Lord Mayor (Alderman Neville Chamberlain), who assured me that if the Bank came to an end and a suitable post was not found for me, I should receive compensation. The Minutes of the Bank Committee will confirm. It was an important decision for me to make, and it was only after consulting the late Sir James Curtis (who had been of great help to me in my Poor Law service) and prominent trade union leaders who collaborated with Mr Chamberlain in this new enterprise, that I decided to take the risk with the endeavour to make the Bank a success. In fact, Sir James Curtis gave me the impression that my Superannuation position was not likely to be prejudiced because Birmingham Corporation also had a Superannuation scheme. Had I entertained any doubt on the point, I should have raised the matter in 1916.


I shall be glad if you will submit this letter to your Committee, and hope you will, in due course, be able to ease my mind on a matter which is important to me.


Yours faithfully,




Bank Committee, April 15th 1946


On Minute No 7898, the following resolution of the Finance Committee, passed on the 29th March, 1946, was submitted:


Application for increased superannuation allowance for non-contributing service - Mr J P Hilton.


The City Treasurer presented a supplemental Report:




(a) That in the calculation of the superannuation allowance to be paid to Mr J P Hilton, the fraction of 1/80th be substituted for that of 1/120th in respect of each year of his non-contributing service, making a total superannuation allowance of 1,266.  14.   0d per annum, of which 100 per annum (representing the cost of the afore-mentioned substitution) will be re-charged to the Bank Committee and


(b) That this Committee are of opinion that the same principle should be observed in connection with any future similar case and that the Treasurer be requested to bring any such case to the notice of the Committee as and when it may arise.


RESOLVED:- That the foregoing resolution of the Finance Committee be received and entered on the Minutes, and that the arrangements therein mentioned regarding the Superannuation Allowance to be paid to Mr Hilton be accepted; also that Minute No 7898 be discharged.

J P Hilton