HC Deb 14 March 1922 vol 151 c1990W

asked the Secretary of State for War whether, seeing that men who enlisted as boys are being discharged after 21 years' service and are not qualified for pension, as the years between the ages of 14 and 18 are not counted for pension although included in the years of service, he will arrange that in the case of such men they will be given the opportunity of serving for an additional term so as to qualify them for a pension?


My hon. Friend is mistaken in thinking that a man with a total service of 21 years is disqualified for pension by the fact of his service including service under 18 years of age. Boy service does not reckon as qualifying service for the purpose of computing the rate of pension, but a minimum qualifying service of 10 years will give a modified pension if the soldier has 21 years' total service. In the face of the reductions of establishment which are now taking place, I regret that I am not able to permit men to serve beyond 21 years' service in order to enable them to earn the same pension as they would have earned at 21 years' service, had the whole of their service been over the age of 18.