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Armed Forces: Pensions

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 23 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate (a) the cost of making service in the armed forces prior to 1975 of less than 22 years duration pensionable and (b) the consequential costs elsewhere in the public sector of making service in the armed forces prior to 1975 of less than 22 years duration pensionable. (158652)

It is not practical to make an accurate estimate of the cost of making pension awards to those service personnel who served less than 22 years reckonable service prior to 1975.

The consequential cost of providing pensions for pre-1975 service on a retrospective basis across the public sector would be prohibitive—exceeding billions of pounds.

There remains no realistic prospect that this or any Government could afford to address these public-sector pension legacy issues. Further details were set out in the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Member for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, then Minister for the Armed Forces, in the Adjournment Debate on 31 January 2007, Official Report, columns 338-40, which clearly set out the legislative and policy background to this matter.