HC Deb 22 April 1999 vol 329 c632W
Mr. Dismore

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to remove the differences within the War Pensions Scheme as between former officers and other ranks. [81485]

Mr. Doug Henderson

The War Scheme is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Security. The MOD and DSS are currently reviewing arrangements for compensating service personnel or their bereaved where disablement or death is due to service in the Forces. The aim is to make proposals for a new compensation scheme that could replace the current War Pension Scheme and the attributable provisions of the Armed Forces Pension Scheme. The War Pension Scheme would remain available for those who have already left the forces including current war pensions.

At present former officers and other ranks received the same level of War Disablement Pension or Gratuity under the War Pension Scheme for the same degree of assessed disablement and regardless of rank. The level of War Widow's Pension, however, is still related to the rank held by the deceased husband in service.

A separate review is also being conducted of the Armed Forces Pension Scheme. This review is examining all the main provisions of that Scheme, including the continuing justification for any differences of treatment between officers and other ranks.