March 3, 2021
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Gurkha veterans battling for better pensions despite Government top-up

  23/03/2019 मा प्रकाशित

Retired Gurkhas will keep fighting for better pensions despite a £15m top-up from the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

Following Gurkha campaigning, in March 2007 pension rules were changed so veterans who retired after 1997 got equal pensions to other UK service personnel.

But those who retired before 1997 still get pensions that can be two-thirds lower than British soldiers.

The rationale for the lower rate is that many Gurkhas retire in Nepal, where living costs are lower. However, many settle in the UK.
Last week the MOD put an extra £15m into the pension scheme for pre-1997 Gurkhas.

Sheila Limbu, of SSAFA, the armed forces charity, said more could be done to help Gurkha veterans and their families, but that “every step made is a positive one”.

The move does not bring pensions for older retired Gurkhas up to the level of equivalent British soldiers.

Retired major Tikendra Dal Dewan, of the British Gurkha Welfare Society (BGWS), said: “They made it sound like they have done a grand, magnanimous gesture by increasing it but that is not true.

“We never got equal terms and pay, and we are not even bothered about that. What we are seeking is justice for our pensions, getting equal to what the British get, according to the service rendered.”

Mr Dewan served 31 years in the Gurkhas but his pension only reflects 12 of those years.

Mr Dewan will now take the matter to MPs.

The BGWS has already taken the issue to the European Court of Human Rights, which rejected it in 2016.