Equality in veterans pensions
Forum thread for campaign Equality in veterans pensions
“ <br>Veterans who left service before April 1975 get no pension ”
It did not address a single question that I had posed, nor did it explain why issues, relating to various military circumstances, had been addressed 'retrospectively', but military pensions had not been similarly treated.
To clarify my point;
The rules with regard to personnel being discharged, dishonourably, from the Armed Forces for reasons of pregnancy and ‘differing gender preference’, have been changed retrospectively, and sums of money have been paid to folk in such circumstances, but it seems that as far as pensions go, the word ‘retrospective’ is not in the Government, or the MoDs, vocabulary.
In similar vein, another issue that niggles somewhat, is Graduated Pensions. As service personnel we contributed to this element of our State Pension, and receive a small element of that contribution in our State Pension today. A friend of mine, who is the same age as I am, receives nearly £10 pounds a week more than I, due to the fact that, as a civilian, he earned more than I did during the years in which we contributed to Graduated Pensions. Our pay, until the onset of the Military Salary,
(by which time Graduated Pension contribution had been terminated) was quite minimal due to the “All-Found” circumstance in which we operated.
That is to say, our pay was less than a civilian’s pay, in similar employment, because food, clothing and lodging was factored in, but no element of this was factored into our Graduated Pension contribution. In effect this means that I am penalised in my state pension for having been an airframe fitter in the RAF, rather than having been employed as a civilian in a similar role at, say, Manchester airport. Just another issue that few people seem to have considered, but which really annoys me; as do all the people who say to me; “14 years in the RAF? I’ll bet you have a great pension”!
As our American cousins would say, "It sucks".
I doubt there was any chance of a reasonable explanation as to why pensions were not paid.
But now I'll add more to illustrate how right I am about how misplaced your demands are.
My great grandfather joined at 14, AOC Armourer to 4th Rifle Brigade India, Burma etc. for 22 adult years.... medals and juicy juicy pension ....bought all of Colchester's little tobacconists up, bought the town's Wholesale tobacco and confectioners warehouse business...... all on his 22 years of adult service BIG FAT pension....yes, available way back in the 1800s.
His son, my grand father, joined at 14 as an AOC/RAOC/then REME armourer, serving with the Machine Gun Corps in WW1. Served all over the world and in WW2 and after. Medals galore. 22 years adult service in the regulars, another 20 in the TA. BIG FAT pension indeed.
His son, my father, joined at 14, RAOC/REME as a gun fitter, serving in WW2, then Palestine, Cyprus then as Artificer Vehicles in further flung places (BAOR, Malta, Libya- Tripolitania District 2RTR REME). Medals galore. 22 years adult service and BIG Fat pension too. Used it to buy a country ple in deepest darkest dankest Wales, Friog, Merioneth. Are you seeing a trend yet? The importance of the 22 year engagement? Let's continue.
My twin brother joined REME as an apprentice at 15, same age as yourself; on offer was 3 years adult service....no pension. Or, 6 years adult service, no pension. Or 9 years adult service, no pension. Or, 22 years and BIG FAT pension. Guess what OFFER he chose? Medals too, not just for 'serving' either.
Then there's me. I joined the Army before my 17.5 birthday and I chose a long-term career in the Army, ducking in and out to have children and serving more years than I care to mention..... got two medals and guess what? A nice BIG FAT pension.
So please, do consider what choices were presented to you on enlistment and the 'career/just a job' decisions that you made before and during your time in uniform. You are responsible for those decisions you made, not the Government. Had the Government made an error with your collective's pension awards/non pension awards then I'm sure you'd have a valid case worthy of addressing.
Ah, now I'll get back to writing the history of the great regiments and units that served in Tripolitania District .....where I lived as a little girl when my father ran the REME LAD attached to 2RTR. Homs, Libya 1959-62.
I cant recall which might be due to my very young age and cavalier attitude at that time of being offered 22 years .Even if it did happen which is very likely, I wouldn't have accepted. So thanks again for putting the matter straight ,seen through different eyes and circumstances. I'm one of the lucky ones , comfortable monetary wise and if I hadn't had left the RN ,my successful life in civvy street and meeting my wife would never had happened. Have a good life , and thanks for the enlightenment.