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Service Pensions

Volume 401: debated on Thursday 20 March 2003

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to delay the payment of service pensions until a serviceman reaches 65 years. [103179]

I have been asked to reply.The Pensions Green Paper, "Simplicity, Security and Choice: Working and Saving for Retirement" was published for consultation in December of last year and includes a proposal that the age at which unreduced pensions should be payable to members of Public Service Pension Schemes should be raised from age 60 to 65, to reflect increasing longevity and common practice in the private sector. The paper acknowledges that some occupations require a recognised physical capacity which justifies payment of pension at a lower age and the Armed Forces pay an immediate pension as early as age 37. However, for those members who leave before reaching such an age, their pensions benefits accrued through future service from a date to be decided would also be deferred to age 65. The Ministry of Defence will be offering its comments on this and other proposals put forward in the Green Paper shortly.