§ Mr. Adam Butler
asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many people receive Service pensions; and how many of them are in the category of those who have to reach the age of 55 years before they become eligible for the normal annual increments which apply to other Service pensioners;
(2) how much it would cost for those Service pensioners who are at the moment in the category of those who have to wait until the age of 55 years before becoming eligible for annual increases, if such increases were to be paid to them with 171W immediate effect in line with the standard increases for all Service pensioners.
§ Mr. Duffy
By analogy with the provisions of the Pensions (Increase) Acts, which govern the public services generally, all Armed Forces pensioners normally wait until their 55th birthdays before becoming eligible for annual increases. The only exceptions to this rule are those who have been invalided or who have since become incapacitated.
At a recent date, the number of Armed Forces pensions in payment (excluding those for widows and other dependants) was 238,199. Of these, 84,053 were to pensioners below age 55.
It is estimated that the present cost of paying pensions increases regardless of age would be of the order of £45 million to £50 million per annum.