Pension Justice for Troops

Matters relating to the pension arrangements of our armed forces personnel are not a particular area of expertise for me, but yesterday I found myself raising the issue in a debate in the House of Commons.

A few months ago, I was contacted by my constituent Jayne Bullock, who is the driving force behind the Pension Justice for Troops Campaign. Jayne’s brother is a serving army officer. Earlier this year he had been given his redundancy notice and had been told that he would me made redundant just days before his immediate pension point. Unlike other jobs, members of the armed forces after a lengthy period of service, are entitled to an “immediate pension”. They don’t have to wait until the state pension age to get this pension, rather it becomes available to them when they reach their “immediate pension point”.

This summer, a small group of soldiers, with substantial years of service and operational tours, were given notice of compulsory redundancy, close to their entitlement to an immediate pension, some within days. As a consequence they are losing out on immediate pension payments worth thousands of pounds over a lifetime.

The number of soldiers affected is relatively small, approximately 70 in total.  However, these numbers are set to get bigger in the coming years, when a further 8000–10,000 troops will be made redundant.  Many more soldiers and their families could be affected. That’s why the Government needs to act.

Our service men and women often put their life on the line as part of their job. For officers, the responsibility that they carry is bigger still. To penalise these officers, after they have done one of the most difficult jobs in the world, just doesn’t see right to me and that’s why I am supporting the campaign.

If you want to read my speech, you can access it here. You can sign the petition here.

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