Gurkhas

House of Lords written question – answered on 10th February 2010.

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Photo of Lord Selkirk of Douglas Lord Selkirk of Douglas Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the annual amount in sterling of the pension paid under the Gurkha pension scheme in each year from 1973 to 2000 to a retired Gurkha rifleman with 15 years' service who retired in 1973 aged 33; and what was the total paid out.

Photo of Baroness Taylor of Bolton Baroness Taylor of Bolton Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Defence and Security) (also in the Ministry of Defence), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence) (International Defence and Security) (also in Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

The annual amounts in sterling of the pension for a rifleman with 15 years' service who retired in 1973, regardless of age on discharge, are only available for the period 1996 to 2000 and are shown in the table below. Rates prior to this are not centrally held. However, estimates have previously been made for the period 1 April 1986 to 1 April 1995. These are also shown in the table below.

Year-as at 1 April Actual Estimated
1986 £301
1987 £311
1988 £295
1989 £299
1990 £279
1991 £236
1992 £243
1993 £280
1994 £294
1995 £303
1996 £340
1997 £345
1998 £323
1999 £334
2000 £852
Totals £2,194 £2,841

While these sums appear modest by United Kingdom standards, the fact remains that Gurkha pensions were designed for life in Nepal where they constituted a good income.

Recent calculations on the value of Gurkha pensions have shown that a Gurkha rifleman who retired in 1994 aged 33 would have received some £61,000 at 2009 prices by the age of 60 before a soldier of the same service and rank in the Armed Forces pension scheme received any pension at all.

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