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The National Insurance Act 1946

The National Insurance Act 1946 received royal assent on 1 August 1946. The Act extended the scope of the National Insurance Act 1911 to require everyone of a working age (except for married women) to pay a weekly contribution.

In return for their contributions, a range of benefits were available including sickness benefit, widow's benefit and unemployment benefit. Pensions would be paid to women at 60 and men at 65.

Mothers received an allowance for each child if they had been paying National Insurance in addition to a lump sum payable on the birth of each child.


The National Archives.
The Cabinet papers: 1940's Origins of the Welfare State.
The National Archives; nd.