HC Deb 16 March 2001 vol 364 c756W
Mr. Jim Murphy

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement about the review of the Armed Forces Pension Scheme and the Joint MOD/DSS Compensation Review. [154523]

Mr. Hoon

I am pleased to announce that the emerging findings of these reviews are being published today for public consultation. I appreciate that both reviews are taking longer than originally intended, but they have raised complicated issues and I am determined that we should find the right package of benefits appropriate for our Armed Forces in modern society.

The review teams have carried out detailed analysis of the current arrangements and the options for modernisation. They have set out options in each area, working closely with the Services personnel staff. The next stage in the review process is to seek the views of individual Service personnel, ex-Service and Widows organisations and the general public. This will include wide circulation of material describing the proposed changes, both in hard copy and on a range of websites. We will also be going out to interested organisations to explain our proposals, answer any questions and seek views. Because of the complexity of the proposals I have allowed over four months for consultation. After this time we will publish a summary of the responses and consider how to take the package forward in the light of them.

Copies of the consultation documents will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses and will also be available on the MOD website. The Joint Compensation Review consultation document will also be available on the DSS War Pensions Agency website.