HC Deb 10 January 2000 vol 342 cc87-8W
Mr. Gardiner

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many employees of his Department took early retirement packages and at what total cost, in the financial year 1996–97. [103362]

Mr. Kilfoyle

Early departure packages are available for staff over 50 years of age (classed as retirement) and under 50 years of age (classed as severance). The total number of early leavers, including voluntary and compulsory redundancies, caused by reductions and geographical relocations (but excluding Trading Fund Agencies) were 1,712 in Financial Year 1996–97. The total is broken down by category in the table.

Retirement category Category sub-total Total
Approved early retirement 109
Actuarially reduced retirement 11
Compulsory early retirement/Severance:
CER on Structural grounds 30
CER on Redundancy grounds 595
CES on Structural grounds 14
CES on Redundancy grounds 443
CER/CES total 1,082
Flexible early retirement/severance:
FER on Structural grounds 73
FER on Limited Postability 6
FES on Structural grounds 1
FES on Limited Postability 5
FER/FES total 85
Voluntary redundancy
Voluntary Redundancy (CER terms) 214
Voluntary Redundancy (CES terms) 211
Voluntary Redundancy total 425
Total 1,712

Financial Year 1996–97 represented the final round of the Department's "Options for Change" review and most of the early leavers left as a consequence of the review. The total cost to the Ministry of Defence in Financial Year 1996–97 was £61.181 million. This represents the cost of the initial and annual compensation, and any lump sum payments for retirements that took place in that year. The annual compensation payment for staff over 50 years of age at the point of leaving continues to be met by the MOD until individuals reach the minimum retirement age of 60 years.