Pension injustice

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NOW THAT the ‘smoke screen’ of the fuel shortage no longer hides the real issues of the Budget, ‘Granny Tax’ and pensions in general, let’s get back to them.

In the Budget, Senior Citizen Frozen Age Allowance became hot news, making the headlines in many broadsheets, redtops etc. But meanwhile veterans of HM Forces have been deprived of their rightful pension for 37 years, and more in some cases.

We, EfVA, Equality for Veterans Association, represent veterans who left, for whatever reason, HM Forces prior to April 1975. Unless 16 years had been served (22 for non-officer ranks) then NO pension was paid, although contributions had indirectly been made.

If leaving HM Forces to take up a civil service post, years served in the military could not be counted towards a civil service pension. NB, same employer!

We have been fighting this injustice for many years and at last, an All-Party Parliamentary Group has been formed to look into our claim for a rightful pension.

But we need to spread our story and as such would appreciate your help. Throughout the nation, and wider world, we have many veterans living on meagre means and they need assistance in the form of the pension they feel they have paid for. They are too proud to beg so will continue the fight.

Most are aged between 60 and 75-plus and many in ill health. These men and women served their country in Malaya, Korea, Aden, Indonesian confrontation, Falkland Islands and Northern Ireland, to name but a few.

None get a pension unless they completed 16 (22) years as stated. Is this justice? Where now the ‘Military Covenant’ which politicians love to use as a vote-getter but nothing more. Hollow words and empty promises?

We have continually lobbied our MPs, both in House of Commons and in local surgery meetings, with some success as stated. But we need the wider British public to be aware of this great injustice which is affecting citizens in their locality or neighbourhood who will have served but have not been paid.

JIM MONAGHAN

EfVA regional organiser Sussex/Wales

White Horse Court, Storrington