Gurkha veterans lose pension case

Retired Gurkhas have lost a High Court test case over pension rights, reports the BBC.

The British Gurkha Welfare Society was seeking a judicial review of a decision to limit the pensions paid to those who left the service before 1997. Gurkha veterans receive one-third of the monthly amount paid to UK-based soldiers.

The court agreed that it was lawful to apply pension improvements only to those serving in the Gurkhas when the regiment moved to Britain from Hong Kong.

Changes to pension rules in 2007 gave serving Gurkha soldiers the same pension rights as their UK counterparts, but the British Gurkha Welfare Society says that 25,000 men who retired before 1 July 1997 were denied the right to transfer into UK armed forces pension schemes.

The society’s Chhatra Rai said: “This is above all a moral issue, as the majority of Gurkha veterans in this group are now becoming increasingly old and fragile.”

The Ministry of Defence welcomed the ruling, maintaining that Gurkha pensions can be paid over a longer period, amounting to the same final level as the UK schemes.

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