Clause 3 - Accrued rights

Part of Armed Forces(Pensions and Compensation) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:30 pm on 10th February 2004.

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Photo of Gerald Howarth Gerald Howarth Shadow Minister (Defence) 4:30 pm, 10th February 2004

The alternative was an opportunity to watch paint dry, and that is what I elected to do.

Amendment No. 7 is essentially a mix-and-match amendment. For example, the existing scheme provides a death-in-service benefit of one and half

times a person's salary, and the new scheme provides a death-in-service benefit of four times a person's salary. However, the immediate pension scheme is more favourable than the early departure scheme. The purpose of the amendment is to give people a choice. The Minister talked about choice. The amendment would enable people to pick the best bits—I freely admit that—of each scheme as it applies to their personal circumstances. He told us a long time ago that he was interested in choice and that it is a driving force behind the provisions. If he is genuine about choice, the amendment provides him with an opportunity to nail his choice colours to the mast.