Ministry of Defence increases pension payments to Gurkha soldiers

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced a “significant” increase to the pensions of Gurkhas, ending a long-running battle with veterans of the elite Nepalese unit.

The scheme will cost £6m a year, and will see Gurkha pensioners benefit from an average increase of 19% to their service pension. It follows on from a 7% increase announced earlier this year as part of the annual inflationary uplift.

Derek Twigg, under secretary of state for defence, said the government will be conducting a review into how Gurkha pensions are increase annually. The review will assess the cost of living in Nepal, where an estimated 25,000 Gurkha pensioners live.

Twigg said: “I am delighted to be able to announce this substantial increase in pensions to retired Gurkhas. This increase will sustain Gurkha Pension Scheme payments at an appropriate level and demonstrates our continuing commitment to the retired Gurkha population in Nepal.

“The bravery and heroism of the Brigade of Gurkhas is world renowned and they are fully deserving of this reputation. Their continued significant contribution to operations around the globe has been and will continue to be greatly appreciated,” he added.

Last month Twigg announced that work was under way to see how Nepalese women could be integrated into the brigade.

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