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  Pension news is released annually 

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INTRODUCTION

    Welcome to the news for 2000 for all Army Pensioners.  Those who have been drawing their pension for some time will have seen many of these articles before, but please bear with us, so that all new pensioners are catered for each year.

    Army pensions are administered at Pensions Department, Army Personnel Centre, Glasgow and an article explaining how they can help you, and how best to contact them is mentioned in this page.

PENSION INCREASES

    The annual increase is due on the first Monday of the financial year, which this year is 10 April 2000.  The increase will be a maximum of 1.1% and proportionally less for those who have been discharged for less than a year.  Details of your increase and/or your new annual rate are given on your advice note or voucher counterfoil.

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PERSONAL INFORMATION - CHANGES OF ADDRESS - PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES

    The Pensions Division, address below, must be notified if you change address or any other changes to personal circumstances which would affect your pension benefits.  If life certificates are issued to an old address and not returned, your pension will be frozen and payment stopped.  P60's are also issued to the home address every April and the Pensions Division cannot provide copies if these go astray.

    If you are under 55 years of age do remember to inform Pensions Division if you have become incapable of full-time employment either due to mental or physical infirmity as you may then apply to have your pension increases paid before you reach 55.

    Please do not telephone Pensions Division as information cannot be taken or released over the telephone but always write to notify any changes in your circumstances or with change of address or bank details, deferred increase enquiries etc.  The address is:

                                      Pensions Division Helpdesk
                                              MP 480
                                              Army Personnel Centre
                                              Kentigern House
                                              65 Brown Street
                                              GLASGOW    G2 8EX

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WAR DISABLEMENT - HOW TO CLAIM - A SUMMARY FROM THE BRITISH LEGION

    Anyone who considers that their medical condition or the death of a spouse is due to service factors can claim a War or War Widows/Widowers Pension from DSS.

    War pensions by their very nature take time to resolve.  After application, investigation has to take place through Military records, hospital case notes and GP's.  Therefore to bring a War Pension claim to conclusion one can expect to wait between seven to nine months for a decision.  Should a claim "fail" and the client then wishes the case to go for arbitration to an independent tribunal the process can be anything up to two years before the case is heard for adjudication.

    Help claiming a War or War Widow/Widowers pension and associated allowances may be obtained from the Pensions Department of the Royal British Legion.  They will process any claim to War Pension plus Tribunal representation at no charge to the claimant whether or not the claimant is a member of the Legion.  Any War Disablement problem that needs opinion or action maybe addressed to:

                                      Pensions Department
                                              The Royal British Legion
                                              48 Pall Mall
                                              LONDON
                                              SW1Y 5JY
                                              Tel:    Legion Line on:     0345 725 725

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METHOD OF PAYMENT - PAYMENTS TO A BANK/BUILDING SOCIETY ACCOUNT

    If your pension is paid direct to a bank or building society be aware that the payments have to be paid to your own account or to a joint account that includes your name.  Payments may not be credited to an account that is solely in the name of a third party.

    If your nominated account belongs to a third party, the bank or building society should return the payment to the APC.  Although Pensions Division will then endeavor to re-credit the payment as quickly as possible, the payment will not be re-issued to you for at least three weeks due to delays in the banking system.  However, the payment will only be re-issued on receipt of your correct bank details.  Therefore, to avoid delay if your nominated account belongs to a third party, you should inform Pensions Division in writing of your own bank details.  In some cases banks do accept payments into the account of a third party but note that, when Pensions Division  become aware of this, payment will be stopped and you will be contacted and asked to provide alternative bank details.

 

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EX TERRITORIAL ARMY IN RECEIPT OF AN ATTRIBUTABLE BENEFITS RESERVIST SCHEME PENSION

    If you were a member of the Territorial Army, were medically discharged and are in receipt of an Attributable Benefits Reservists Scheme (ABRS) pension and consider your pensionable disability has worsened since your last medical board review, you can apply to the following address to arrange a medical board review:

                                      Special Section 6124
                                              Department of Social Security
                                              War Pension Agency
                                              Norcross
                                              BLACKPOOL
                                              FY5 3WP

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LOCALLY LISTED PERSONNEL IN RECEIPT OF A DISABILITY PENSION

    If you enlisted in the following countries:  Cyprus, Lebanon, Malta, Palestine, Syria, Mauritius and Seychelles, and consider your pensionable disability has worsened since your last medical board review, you can apply to the following address to arrange a medical review board:

                                      TA/Overseas Pension Section
                                              MP 480
                                              Room 2511
                                              Kentigern House
                                              65 Brown Street
                                              GLASGOW
                                              G2 8EX

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What can be investigated?    Complaints of maladministration by the persons responsible for the management of occupational pension schemes, also disputes of fact or law concerning pension schemes.  It is not merely to disagree with a decision; the complainant must have reason to believe that the decision was not properly made or implemented.

What cannot be investigated?    Complaints or disputes already subject to court proceedings.  (An Industrial Tribunal counts as a court).

Who can complain?    An individual in one of the following groups who feel they have been subject to an injustice because of maladministration of a pension scheme:

           Members of the scheme.

           The widow, widower or surviving dependant of a deceased member.

"Injustice" does not necessarily mean financial loss, but may include distress, delay or inconvenience.  If the person eligible to complain dies, the complaint may be made by the deceased's personal representative.  If the person is a minor or is unable to act for him or herself, the complaint may be made by a relative or other suitable representative. 

Internal Disputes Resolution Procedures (IDRP)

    Before an appeal can be made to the Pensions Ombudsman, a member or dependant must first exhaust the AFPS' IDRP.  The Pensions Ombudsman cannot normally investigate a complaint until the AFPS has issued a Notice of Decision.

Time Limit

    A complaint should be made within 3 years.  The Pensions Ombudsman may extend the time limit where he considers it reasonable to do so.  The Pensions Ombudsman's decision is final and binding on both the complainant and the pension scheme, subject only to an appeal to the High Court on a point of law.

 

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CONTACTS

The Pension Ombudsman
11 Belgrave Road
LONDON
SW1V 1RBbb
Tel: 02078 349 144
 
Occupational Pensions Advisory Service (OPAS)
11 Belgave Road
LONDON
SW1V 1RB
Tel:  02072 338 080
 
HM Inspector of Taxes (PD2)
Ty-Glas
Llanishen
CARDIFF
CF4 5YE
Tel:  02920 753 271
War Pensions Agency
Norcross
BLACKPOOL
FY5 3WP
Tel:  01253 858 858
 
 

 

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THE ROYAL HOSPITAL CHELSEA 

    For a comfortable and active retirement you can't beat being an In-Pensioner at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, a magnificent home for old soldiers founded in 1682 by Charles II and designed by Sir Christopher Wren.  You'll be well dug in, with a room of your own, and in good company with former soldiers like yourself.  The setting is idyllic: 60 acres close by the famous Kings Road in the heart of London and near the Thames.  Your every need will be met in a carefree life.  You will eat in the Great Hall and relax in the In-pensioners Club.  There's a billiards room, a good library of books and videos, and an Arts and Crafts Centre and a Post Office.  The Royal Hospital also has its own Chapel, as well as a Roman Catholic Chapel.  A splendid medical services includes an infirmary staffed by caring doctors, a matron and nurses.  In addition, there are support facilities which include a chiropodist, a physiotherapy department and fitness centre.

    You are eligible to become an In-Pensioner if you are:

In receipt of a pension for Army service or disability due to military service; if you are an Officer on retired pay with at least 12 years in the ranks you may also apply.

65 years or over; exceptionally, if you are between 55-65 with a disability pension you may apply if you are unable to earn a living because of disability.

Able to look after yourself and walk around unaided.

Free from obligations to support a wife or children.

Passed medically fit for admission.

If you want to know more, contact:

The Secretary (Room 6), Royal Hospital Chelsea, London SW3 4SR

Telephone 02078 815 204   Fax  02078 236 871

 

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ROYAL CAMBRIDGE HOME FOR SOLDIERS' WIDOWS

    The Royal Cambridge Home for Soldier's Widows was founded in 1851, since when it has provided safe, manageable and comfortable homes for the elderly widows of men who served in the British Army.  Originally only those widows of NCOs and Private Soldiers were accepted but the regulations governing admission were later changed to include widows whose husbands had served some of their time, be it only one day, in the ranks.  Now it is open to also accept women, either single or widowed, who have themselves served in the Army or Army Nursing Corps and married women whose husbands have been admitted into the Royal Hospital Chelsea and who are in residential care.  This new qualification encompasses women who have served in the following:

Army Territorial Services (ATS)

Women's' Royal Army Corps (WRAC)

Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC)

First Aid Nursing Yeomanry Service (FANY) 1917 - 1921

Women's Transport Service (WTS) 1917 - 1921

Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps (QMAAC)

    The home is situated in its own very pleasant grounds near Hampton Court Palace and within a short stroll of the Thames.  It is registered for thirty residents and many of today's residents were in their late sixties when they came some twenty years ago.  Any vacancies that arise are taken up very quickly.  The Royal Cambridge Home is unique and the residents are special.  If you would like to know more about the Home then please write, address below:

                                      The Superintendent
                                              Royal Cambridge Home
                                              82/84 Hurst Road
                                              East Molesly
                                              Surrey
                                              KT8 9AH

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