HC Deb 26 July 1990 vol 177 cc534-5W
Mr. O'Neill

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements exist for making redundancy payments to(a) his Department's civilian staff and (b) service personnel.

Mr. Archie Hamilton

The arrangements for making redundancy payments to civilian staff in the Ministry of Defence are contained in the rules of the principal civil service pension scheme (PCSPS). These provide for benefits according to age, length of qualifying service and rate of pay at the time of redundancy. In the unlikely event that the benefits payable under the PCSPS amount to less than the statutory provision, staff may receive a special payment to bring them up to the level paid under the Employment Protection (Consolidation) Act 1978.

The arrangements for making redundancy payments to service personnel are determined in the light of the circumstances at the time when reductions of this kind become necessary. Under the terms that have applied in redundancy exercises in recent years, personnel have, in addition to the normal benefits which would be awarded in respect of service given, received tax-free lump sums to compensate for premature termination of career. Personnel who have not yet completed the minimum service normally necessary to qualify for an immediate pension, but who have completed at leat 12 years' reckonable service, have also been awarded an immediate pension which is proportionate to the service given. These terms would not necessarily apply to any future redundancy scheme.