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"Options For Change"

Volume 201: debated on Friday 20 December 1991

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether officers and men discharged from the Army as a result of "Options for Change" outside the United Kingdom will be required to be responsible for the costs of their own furniture and movements expenses.

When United Kingdom based service personnel and their families return from an overseas station on discharge they will do so at public expense. Their personal possessions will also be conveyed at public expense within the same limits as those returning on normal posting.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his estimate of the final civilian establishment of his Department once the proposals contained in "Options for Change" have been fully implemented.

By 1997, the number of United Kingdom-based and locally entered civilians will be about 134,000.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what will be the differences in the terms of redundancy offered to civilians as a result of the implementation of "Options for Change" from those that are offered to officers and men of the Army.

Redundancy payments to civil servants and military personnel are made under two quite separate arrangements, the principal civil service pension scheme and the armed forces pension scheme. With both schemes, the benefit varies according to pay and length of service.The two schemes are different and, within each, different criteria apply. A direct comparison cannot, therefore, be made. The principal differences affecting benefits relate to the entitlement qualifications, the age at which pensions benefits come into payment and the relationship between benefits and earnings.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the costs of redundancy as a result of the reduction in the civilian establishment of his Department once the proposals contained in "Options for Change" are fully implemented.

It is too early to say what the scale, and therefore the costs, of redundancy arising from our plans to reduce civilian numbers will be.