HC Deb 26 March 1934 vol 287 cc1633-4
48. Mr. HICKS

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office whether Service pensions and retired pay which have been awarded to former members of the Regular Army are regarded as payments for past services; whether such pensions or retired pay or any portion thereof are taken into consideration in fixing rates of remuneration in the event of any recipient being subsequently employed by the Department; and, if so, can he state the reason for this policy and also indicate the basis of computation which is adopted in fixing the rate of remuneration in relation to the amount of Service pension or retired pay?


The retired pay of commissioned officers involves a liability to recall for service in an emergency, up to certain age limits, but the Service pensions of other ranks are regarded solely as payment for past services. Retired pay and Service pensions are not taken into consideration in fixing the remuneration of persons subsequently employed by the War Office in posts not reserved for ex-members of the Forces. In the case of classes of employment which are reserved solely for such persons, the scales of remuneration are suitable for individuals in receipt of retired pay or pensions, and have been fixed at an economic level having regard to the cost of alternative methods of carrying out the particular work.


Do I understand that retired pay or pension for past services in the case of men who may take on employment is included in regard to their economic circumstances, or do I understand that pension and retired pay are part of an accumulated reserve, that when men join the Army they join at a lower rate of pay than they would ordinarily receive in industry, and that the amount they should have received has accumulated to a certain provision to give them a pension at the end?


If the hon. Member will read my answer, which is rather difficult to understand, he will see that such retired pay is never taken into consideration except in the case of officers who are re-employed in the War Office on jobs that are reserved entirely for officers. In those cases, their pay is taken into consideration; otherwise, the work in question is given to people very likely outside the Army altogether.