29th July 2015
Extraordinary General Meeting of EfVA Members
at Royal British Legion Newport Pagnall Branch
1 Ousebank Street, Newport Pagnell MK16 8AN
12:30 p.m. Sunday 9th August 2015
The purpose of the meeting is to consider
Progress report on Equality for Veteran Association campaign, and if thought fit, pass the following resolution as a special resolution.
To wind up the Association.
Agenda if resolution is passed
Appointment of officers from management committee to implement winding up and dispersal of funds after costs of winding up
Vote from members present and committee on charitable organisations to be recipients of dispersed residual funds.
Any Other Business
Agenda if resolution is not passed
To elect and appoint a new management committee to create and deliver acampaign as determined by the new officers
All members are urged to attend the meeting and intention to do so should be e-mailed to the chairman so that suitable facilities can be made available by our hosts The Royal British Legion Newport Pagnell
Equality for Veterans Association
13th July 2015
Fellow Veterans, the management committee feel it appropriate to update association members of the situation with regard to our claim for award of pension or other financial recompense for the time we served our country in the Armed forces.
As many members are aware, in 2003/04The Armed Forces Pension Group (AFPG) mounted a claim in the High Court and subsequently in the Court of Appeal for preserved pensions for pre-1975 leavers from the Armed Forces. The case was unsuccessful for a number of reasons, but principally because there is no legal right to a pension for our particular group of veterans.
Colin Channon MP (Morley & Rothwell, Labour) raised a Parliamentary Early Day Motion and received the support of well over 100 MP's and subsequently a hearing was granted in Parliament on January 31st 2007 but this proved unsuccessful as the government refused to acknowledge our claim.
In an attempt to resurrect a legal claim, the management committee of EfVA and other dedicated members carried out detailed research to find evidence in support of a further legal claim but none has been revealed. We therefore decided to put aside a legal claim and again appeal directly to Parliament to hear our case by way of debate.
An All-Party Parliamentary Group on Armed forces Veterans' Pensions was formed in 2012 and chaired by Katy Clark MP (North Ayrshire and Arran, Labour) and received support from a number of MP's. During Group meetings it was agreed that Katy Clark would secure a debate in Parliament to again put forward our case and claim.
To secure a debate, a petition of over 300,000 signatures from members of the public, in support of our claim,was presented to Government at No 10 Downing street.
In March 2015 Katy Clark MP secured a debate in Parliament asking government to look at the matter afresh. Anna Soubry MP, the Minister of State for Defence stated “I am more than happy to write to her (Katy Clark) if somebody can come up with suggestions, but I have to say that she is really whistling in the wind on this one”.
The letter of response from the Minister to Katy Clark's letter of suggestions to resolve our claim totally rejected Veterans claims and stated we had suffered no disadvantage.
This response from government clearly shows us that we are no further forward with our claim than we were twelve years ago.
The legal route has been exhausted
Parliament/Government has demonstrated no moral conscience
Public demonstration by us Veterans marching on Parliament produced no result
Lobbying M.P.'s on a collective and individual basis did not produce any meaningful outcome
At this point we have not discovered any other avenue to pursue.
We intend to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting within the next six weeks, to discuss our efforts to date and plans for the future.
30th April 2015
Following the Westminster debate, the EfVA asked Katy Clark MP to write to Anna Soubry, Minister at the MoD, to clarify the MoD's response to the suggestion of a one-off ex-gratia payment (details on this website). A copy of the MoD's response, signed by Anna Soubry, has now been received and is attached as a .pdf document."
26th March 2015
Following the Westminster debate, at the request of the EfVA, Katy Clark MP has written to the MoD Minister, Anna Soubry MP. She asked the Minister to respond to the following points:
The proposal for an ex-gratia payment based upon a figure of £1000 for each completed year of adult service, as outlined in last year's EfVA report which appears on this website, a copy of which was enclosed to the Minister.
That pre-1975 servicemen were disadvantaged compared with other workers in the public sector: they were not allowed to join private pension schemes and they were never told about the provisions of the new pensions' legislation (Social Security Acts 1973 and 1975).
The MoD's response will be posted in due course.'
‘THANK YOU’ TO EVERYONE WHO GAVE THEIR TIME AND SUPPORT AT WESTMINSTER HALL
YOUR SUPPORT MAKES EfVA WHAT IT IS TODAY…..STRONGER THAN EVER !
‘STOP PRESS’ (10th March 2015)
AS A MATTER OF URGENCY PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION !
The office of Katy Clark MP has informed the EfVA that a backbench debate, concerning veterans' pension issues, will be held at Westminster Hall on Monday 16th March from 4.30pm to 7.30pm.
MPs of the All Party Group will be informed. What about your MP and your representation?
EfVA members and supporters of the campaign are urged to contact their own MPs urgently to make them aware of the debate and to ask them to attend in support.
** PLEASE CALL YOUR MP NOW ! **
John E Bailey
Local MP Secures Veterans’ Pension debate
Member of Parliament for North Ayrshire and Arran Katy Clark has secured a Parliamentary debate on Veterans’ Pensions. The debate, which will take place on Monday16th March in Westminster Hall, will focus on veterans who left the armed forces prior to the introduction of the Armed Forces Pension Scheme which was introduced in April 1975.Currently veterans who left the Armed Forces before April 5th, 1975, having served for fewer than 22 years, or 16 years if they were officers, receive no pension for their service. It is estimated that there are around 250,000 existing veterans who currently do not receive a pension. Over 300,000 people have signed a petition established by the Equality for Veterans Association supporting the veterans’ cause.
Speaking on the subject Katy Clark said “We should all be extremely grateful for the contribution made to the United Kingdom by our armed forces. Sadly for far too long the sacrifices made by those who served before April 1975 has not been properly recognised by successive Governments. These veterans were prevented from enrolling in conventional pension schemes during their period of service and a large number were poorly informed about the implications of pensions’ legislation in the early 1970s. Many decisions at that time about when to leave the armed services were therefore taken without all the available information to hand. Those who chose to retire shortly before April 1975 continue to feel the financial implication of their decision to this day.
“The Government’s position appears to be it cannot change military pensions retrospectively as this could have potential implications across the public sector. Veterans have however always been treated differently by Government due to the Military Covenant which recognises the unique and often highly dangerous nature of military service. I believe if the Government is serious about honouring this covenant they should be looking to provide lasting financial recognition to pre-April 1975 veterans to honour their loyal service.This is an important issue for many of the veterans affected as they feel that their contribution has not be recognised and that they have been treated unfairly.”
LATEST NEWS - 29TH January 2015
The office of Katy Clark (MP) confirms that applications are currently being made for a Back Bench debate or a Westminster Hall debate in relation to the EfVA pension issue.
John E Bailey
Random Sample of 100 EfVA Members
You will be aware, that following the recent AGM of the APG with Katy Clark MP, we resolved to research the question of how much it might cost the government to settle our claim on the basis of a one-off cash payment of £1000 for each year of service. Sid West duly contacted a random sample of 100 EfVA members and put two questions to them:
Would you accept a one-off cash payment in lieu of pension rights? (Answer simply Yes or No).
How many complete years did you serve over the age of 18?
The aim of the random sample was to produce figures which can be reliably used and applied to the whole population of affected veterans. I am grateful to Nigel Lodge of the Armed Forces Pension Group; Nigel has compiled statistics in recent years for the AFPG and his latest estimate is that about 250, 000 existing veterans are disadvantaged. Given that the MoD will not produce any figures, this is the estimate that we will work with.
Of the 100 responses, a massive 94% responded with a ‘Yes’ to the first question, about accepting a lump sum. Of course the answers may have been different if a smaller sum, per year’s service, were to be offered, but based upon the question posed, an overwhelming majority would accept it. I have every confidence that, based upon the small sample of 100 respondents, a similar result would be obtained across the whole population of veterans.
Turning now to the responses for the number of years of service. Of the 100 responses, the lengths of service ranged from 4 years to 16 years. The data was normally distributed, having two central peaks at 9 years and 12 years’ service, respectively. This, of course is to be expected as most regulars were on 9 or 12 year engagements.
The mean (average) of the random sample years of service is 10.27 years. If that is representative of the mean for the population of affected veterans, then it would cost £2.57 bn (£2, 570, 000, 000) to settle with a one-off payment.
The question now arises of how confident are we that the mean of our random sample is representative of the mean of the whole of the veterans’ population. Further statistical calculations for the population gave a 95% confidence interval of +/- 0.54 years.
Accordingly, we can state with 95% confidence, that based upon an affected veterans’ population of 250, 000, to settle with a one-off payment based on £1000 per year of service, it will cost the government between £2.43 bn and £2.7 bn.
The All Party Group will be apprised of these findings which will serve to inform the forthcoming debate. At this early stage, please note that these figures are not in tablets of stone, but they do provide a benchmark from which to start the ball rolling.
I would like to extend my thanks to the 100 respondents who took the time and trouble to participate and to Sid West, for his hard work and persistence in collecting the data.
John E Bailey
7th August 2014
LATEST NEWS - July 2014
EfVA Chairman Frank Sanders and Deputy Chairman John Bailey attended at the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday 1st July for the AGM of the All Party Group which is representing our interests. The APG Chair, Katy Clark MP (Lab) is keen to secure a debate before the end of the year. Given the government's / MoD's intransigence on the question of retrospection, in relation to pensions, the question of the possibility of securing a lump sum (in lieu of pension rights) was raised. In order to test veterans' likely reaction to this change of strategy, an email questionnaire will be sent to a random sample of 100 EfVA members. The responses will be collated, from which a figure will be calculated to reflect the likely cost to the government of such a settlement (based on a notional £1000 per year of service). The email response will be used to inform the parliamentary debate.
During the next 2 months, Frank and John will be conducting a specific line of research regarding the alleged abatement to pay which was applied to veterans prior to April 1975. The result of this research will also serve to inform the parliamentary debate.
Meanwhile, Campaign Manager, Sid West will be circulating and collating the email questionnaires.
Annual General Meeting of EfVA Members
18th May 2014 Royal British Legion Paddington Branch
To view 'EfVA Year End Accounts 2014' you can request a copy
from Richard Jeal by email:
EfVA works on behalf of UK Armed Forces Veterans who in the period 1949 to end of Tax Year March 1975 completed less than 22 years service (16 years for commissioned officers) the Association conducts a campaign seeking to rectify the inequality in occupational pro-rata pensions currently denied by Government. In many cases this same anomaly also applies to those who served for a minimum of a further 2 years beyond April 1975.
EfVA also seeks to provide advice to Veterans and their families whenever and however they are experiencing difficulty.
By Lawrence Vaincourt
Member Mike Smith has successfully launched an epetition which all members and other interested parties are encouraged to sign as soon as possible.
Please logon to parliament uk search epetitions "Equality in Veterans Pensions" created by Michael Taylor Smith.
Membership of EfVA is open to all UK ex-Service Veterans and their families on application.
Non Service supporters of EfVA may also apply for honorary membership. (See Forms to download)