Britain has a 'duty of care' to its armed forces. This began as an unspoken pact between society and the military, possibly originating as far back as Henry VIII's reign. The pact was formally codified as a 'covenant' in 2000. It is not a law but is reinforced by custom and convention.
The covenant only officially applies to the Army, but its core principles are taken to extend to the Air Force and Navy too.
Soldiers will be called upon to make personal sacrifices - including the ultimate sacrifice - in the service of the Nation. In putting the needs of the Nation and the Army before their own, they forego some of the rights enjoyed by those outside the Armed Forces.
In return, British soldiers must always be able to expect fair treatment, to be valued and respected as individuals, and that they (and their families) will be sustained and rewarded by commensurate terms and conditions of service.
In the same way the unique nature of military land operations means that the Army differs from all other institutions, and must be sustained and provided for accordingly by the Nation.
This mutual obligation forms the Military Covenant between the Nation, the Army and each individual soldier; an unbreakable common bond of identity, loyalty and responsibility which has sustained the Army throughout its history. It has perhaps its greatest manifestation in the annual commemoration of Armistice Day, when the Nation keeps covenant with those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives in action.
The Covenant has been further enhanced through Cm Paper 7424 of July 2008 titled “The Nation’s Commitment: Cross-Government Support to our Armed Forces, their Families and Veterans” the Foreword was provided by the then Prime Minister, Rt Hon Gordon Brown. In the Foreword he emphasises that “the demands imposed in the course of their duty are unique”,
AFPG’s STATEMENT OF INTENT
The Armed Forces Pension Group’s aim is to secure equality of pensions for former regular members of the Armed Forces who served for fewer than 22 years at any time to April 1975 and who were discharged before 5th April 1975. This also applies to those regulars who were discharged prior to 1981 who do not meet the criteria of length of service and age. We ask Her Majesty's Government for pension rights based on years of service and related, pro rata, to pensions received by contemporaries who completed 22 years of service..
There are only two groups of Crown employees: the Civil Service and the Armed Forces. Unlike the Civil Service – the only other body with a non-contributory pension scheme – we did not have a union to negotiate on our behalf neither did we wish for one such. Instead we Trusted that we would be treated fairly and on equal terms with and by the Executive (Civil Service). We also expected to be treated equally with those personal who retired after April 1975.
Instead the MoD decided to get rid of as many service personal as they could before April 1975 so they did not have to pay us pensions, how underhanded can you get.
Currently we as veterans remain “unique” insomuch that we are treated adversely compared with contemporary members of the civil service.
We, who were retired and in most cases were forced to retire before April 1975 and were not allowed to serve our full term of 22 years, demand that the government change the law to enable us to be treated equally with our colleagues who retired after April 1975 and to be paid our due pension.
We are not asking for retrospection and have our pension back dated to when we retired, but to be given the pension from the date the law is changed.
We want the Government and Country to Honour the Covenant in full to ALL its Veterans who promised if necessary to pay the ultimate sacrifice, and would have done so, for their country.
The Parity of Pensions - Armed Forces Pension Group petition to The Present UK Government and MoD was written by Jim Filby and is in the category Military at GoPetition.