Select Committee on Defence Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


APPENDIX 5

Letter from the Secretary of State for Defence—Armed Forces Pensions and Compensation Reviews (16 March 2001)

ARMED FORCES PENSIONS AND COMPENSATION REVIEWS

  I am writing to tell you that I am today publishing the emerging findings of the review of the Armed Forces Pensions Scheme and of the joint MoD/DSS review of compensation arrangements for military personnel who are killed, injured or made ill as a result of their service. This announcement marks the start of a period of public consultation which will run until the end of July 2001.

  These two major reviews were undertaken so that we could ensure that future pension and compensation schemes offered fair and modern benefits, and supported recruitment and retention in the Armed Forces. I appreciate that both reviews are taking longer than originally intended. They have, however, raised complicated issues and I am determined that we should find the right package of benefits appropriate for our Armed Forces in modern society. Accordingly, the review teams have had to carry out detailed analysis of the current arrangements and the options for modernisation, working closely with the Services personnel staffs. As the proposals of these reviews form a package of pension and compensation benefits, it was important for both sets of recommendations to be considered together.

  The next stage of the review process is to seek the views of individual Service personnel, ex-Service organisations and the general public. All Service personnel will be provided with a leaflet explaining the key elements of the proposals. A copy of the full consultation document will be sent to each unit. It is also available on the MoD website. We also intend to conduct a number of discussion groups across the Services to help inform and encourage debate. Interested ex-Service organisations, such as The Royal British Legion and the Officers' Pension Society, will also be sent copies of the consultation documents and we shall be offering to discuss the review recommendations with these groups. I would, of course, be interested to hear any views that you have on the options set out in the consultation documents.

  Once the consultation period has completed, we will publish a summary of the responses and consider how to take the reviews forward in the light of them.


 
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