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Gurkhas: Pensions

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 32156, tabled on 22 March 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress has been made on reaching a settlement with Gurkha soldiers who retired before 2000.

Answered on

30 March 2016

The Government and the people of the United Kingdom hold the Gurkhas in the highest esteem and have done so throughout their 200 years of service to the Crown. Successive Governments have taken steps to ensure that the service provided by Gurkhas is appropriately recognised and reflects the terms and nature of that service, including in relation to pensions.

These sentiments were most recently confirmed in the previous Coalition Government's response to the All Party Parliamentary Group report on historic Gurkha grievances and the statement made by my hon. Friend the former Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans (Ms Soubry) on 29 January 2015 HCWS234.

This reaffirmed successive Governments' long standing approach to public sector pension provisions which is that an individual qualifies for a pension according to the rules of that scheme at the time, and that improvements to public sector pension or compensation schemes should not be introduced retrospectively because of the burden such an approach would place on the Exchequer.