Amendments proposed to the Armed Forces (pensions and Compensation) Bill - continued House of Commons

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Representative trustees (No. 2)

   

Mr Gerald Howarth
Hugh Robertson

NC4

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   The Secretary of State shall appoint not less than seven and not more than nine persons to serve as Representative Trustees in respect of the two schemes taken together ("the Trustees").

    (2)   Persons so appointed may be appointed for between three and seven years in the first instance and thereafter for periods of three years which shall be renewable.

    (3)   Persons so appointed shall include—

      (a) not less than five persons who have served in the armed forces whom of at least two shall have served in non-commissioned rank;

      (b) at least one beneficiary under the compensation scheme;

      (c) at least two who are expert in pensions matters;

      (d) at least two who are concurrently members of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body; and

      (e) a person appointed by the Secretary of State to serve as Chairman of the Trustees ("the Chairman").

    (4)   The categories listed in subsection (3) are not mutually exclusive.

    (5)   The Secretary of State after consultation with the Chairman shall appoint a suitably qualified person to serve as Secretary to the Trustees ("the Secretary") and shall provide the Secretary and the Trustees with all the facilities necessary for their work.

    (6)   The Trustees shall keep the schemes and their management under regular review, shall report at least annually to the Secretary of State, and may so report more frequently if they believe that to be necessary.

    (7)   The Secretary of State shall give notice to the Trustees of any modification in the schemes he is minded to make and shall invite the observations of the Trustees in respect of such proposed modification.

    (8)   The Trustees shall have a special duty to review and advise on arrangements for the provision of competent independent advice to participants in the schemes and any predecessor schemes and for access to such advice.

    (9)   The Secretary of State shall cause any report to him by the Trustees to be published if the Trustees so request.

    (10)   The Trustees may make to the Secretary of State recommendations for modification to the schemes and in relation to the general conduct of the schemes.

    (11)   The Secretary of State may, at his discretion, reject, vary or accept and apply such recommendations. In any case he shall make a written statement to Parliament setting out the recommendation, the reasons of the Trustees for making it, his decision and his reasons for that.'.


Report to Parliament (No. 1)

   

Mr Desmond Swayne

NC5

To move the following Clause:—

       'The Secretary of State shall report to Parliament on the feasibility of establishing a funded pension scheme for members of the Armed Forces within two years of this Act coming into force.'.


Report to Parliament (No. 2)

   

Mr Desmond Swayne

NC6

To move the following Clause:—

       'The Secretary of State shall report to Parliament on the feasibility of a scheme to address the disadvantages of servicemen whose pensions have been adversely affected by previous incomes policies within one year of this Act coming into force.'.


Nominated spouse

   

Mr Andrew Robathan

NC7

To move the following Clause:—

       'Pensions and compensation under this Act may only be paid to a nominated lawfully married spouse.'.


Transition arrangements

   

Mr Gerald Howarth
Hugh Robertson

NC8

To move the following Clause:—

     'The Secretary of State shall by order set out the arrangements to apply to servicemen and women who elect to transfer to a new Armed Forces Pension Scheme.'.


Early departure payments

   

Mr Gerald Howarth
Hugh Robertson

NC9

To move the following Clause:—

     'A system of Early Departure Payments (EDPs) for those serving 18 years and having reached age 40 (whichever is later) will be payable until the preserved pension comes into payment at age 65. The Secretary of State shall by order set out details of these payments.'.


Benefits where the member leaves the service before the age of 55 years

   

Mr Julian Brazier
Mr Gerald Howarth

NC10

To move the following Clause:—

       'For the purposes of any Armed Forces Pension Scheme established under section 1, a member leaving the service before the normal pension age of 55 will on achieving the age of 55 be awarded a pension and any other benefits due with immediate effect to the value of what the member would have been awarded had he left the service at the age of 55.'.


Preserved pension age

   

Mr Gerald Howarth
Hugh Robertson

NC11

To move the following Clause:—

       'Any preserved pension shall be payable at age 60'.


Assumptions

   

Mr Gerald Howarth
Hugh Robertson

NC12

To move the following Clause:—

       'Before introducing any new scheme the Secretary of State shall set out the mortality and longevity assumptions upon which such scheme is based.'.


Comparative benefit statements

   

Mr Gerald Howarth
Hugh Robertson

NC13

To move the following Clause:—

       'The Secretary of State shall provide individual comparative benefit statements for each serviceman and woman eligible to elect whether to remain within the scheme in force on the proposed transfer date or transfer to a new scheme promulgated by the Secretary or State.'.


Medical records

   

Mr Gerald Howarth
Hugh Robertson

NC14

To move the following Clause:—

       'The Secretary of State shall maintain complete and accurate medical records in respect of service personnel and shall not dispose of any such records until that person has died.'.


Access to medical records

   

Mr Gerald Howarth
Hugh Robertson

NC15

To move the following Clause:—

       'It shall be the duty of the Secretary of State to ensure that any claimant to compensation arising from injury or illness attributable to military service shall have full and complete access to his medical records.'.


Report to Parliament

   

Mr Gerald Howarth
Hugh Robertson

NC16

To move the following Clause:—

       'The Secretary of State shall report to Parliament on the operation of any tariff-based compensation schemes not later than five years after the introduction of such a scheme or three years after any amendment to such a scheme.'.


Coming into force

   

Mr Gerald Howarth
Hugh Robertson

NC17

To move the following Clause:—

       'No new scheme shall be introduced under this Bill until April 2007 or until such time as the representative trustees referred to in section [Representative Trustees] shall have approved.'.


Pensions for life

   

Mr Gerald Howarth
Hugh Robertson

NC18

To move the following Clause:—

       'Widows, widowers and registered unmarried partners currently in receipt of any form of forces family pension shall retain that pension for life.'.


Full career pension

   

Mr Gerald Howarth
Hugh Robertson

NC19

To move the following Clause:—

       'A member who serves 35 years but less than 37 years because of service limitations imposed by the Secretary of State shall have his benefits increased to 66 per cent. of final salary by one or more of the following:

       —He shall be granted additional years to accrue for pension purposes.

       —He shall be granted a beneficial accrual rate in his later years of service.

       —He shall be granted an improved lump sum on retirement.'.


Post-retirement marriage

   

Mr Gerald Howarth
Hugh Robertson

NC20

To move the following Clause:—

       'With effect from 6th April 2005 Forces Family Pensions shall be payable to all widows regardless of the date of their marriage.'.


Calculation of final pension

   

Mr Gerald Howarth
Hugh Robertson

NC21

To move the following Clause:—

       'With effect from 6th April 2005 existing beneficiaries in the Armed Forces Pension Scheme shall have their pensionable earnings assessed by considering the last three tax years of their service with years one and two increased by inflation. The highest figure shall be used to calculate the pension.'.


Information to beneficiaries

   

Mr Gerald Howarth
Hugh Robertson

NC22

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   The Secretary of State shall ensure that information about changes to existing schemes and information about new schemes reaches all levels of all units. All relevant information shall be made available to all serving personnel.

    (2)   The rules relating to compensation for injuries and illnesses shall be made readily available to all serving personnel.

    (3)   The Secretary of State shall make provision for service personnel to receive access to independent financial advice when making decisions relating to proposed changes to the scheme.

    (4)   The Secretary of State shall set out at the beginning of future consultation processes a timetable for the completion of that process.

    (5)   Future changes to the schemes will be possibly by secondary legislation, but the basic principles of the scheme shall be set out in primary legislation and the introduction of a new scheme shall only be possible through primary legislation. Any major changes to the schemes in the future should be by statutory instrument subject to super-affirmative procedure, allowing for consultation both with interested groups and with Parliament, before final secondary legislation is presented to Parliament for approval.'.



 
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Prepared 24 Feb 2004