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Armed Forces: Pensions

Volume 461: debated on Tuesday 12 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost of (a) awarding retrospectively armed service pensions to all those armed service personnel who do not receive pensions and (b) providing pensions on retirement to those service personnel who are currently not likely to be entitled to a pension. (138022)

No specific estimate has been produced regarding the cost of backdating armed forces preserved pensions before 1975. However, in view of the fact that this issue is common to other public service schemes not just the armed forces, the cost, whether to the armed forces or more widely, would be considerable and could run into billions of pounds.

The only individuals currently serving who will not be entitled to a pension are those who do not serve the two years necessary to qualify for an armed forces pension. However, they may transfer their notional benefits out of the armed forces pension scheme into another public sector scheme.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 23 May 2007, Official Report, column 1289W, on the armed forces: pensions, how much it would cost to obtain the information. (141921)

There are currently in excess of 350,000 pensions in payment and, although the sums being paid can be accessed, it is not possible to tell whether the amount is in respect of a “full career pension” or a lesser period. The cost of scrutinising each file to check the length of each individual's reckonable service would be in excess of £900,000.