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Army and Air Force Pensions Navy

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PENSIONS: NAVY, ARMY AND AIR FORCE. In Great Britain, the retired pay and pensions of members of the fighting forces of the Crown and the pensions payable after their death to their dependent relatives are regulated by Orders in Council as regards the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, Royal Warrants as regards the Army and King's Orders as regards the Royal Air Force. The regulations are administered by the Ad miralty, the War Office and the Air Ministry, respectively, ex cept those relating to retired pay or pension granted on account of disablement or death due to service in the World War or in former wars, which are administered by the Ministry of Pen sions. Retired pay is granted to officers on retirement, usually for age, ill-health or at their own request, at rates which depend mainly upon length of service and rank held on retirement. Offi cers with insufficient service to qualify them for retired pay may in certain circumstances be granted gratuities.

New scales of retired pay, subject to review triennially in the light of changes in the cost of living, were introduced in 1919. Although the regulations differ in the several forces, the follow ing figures indicate fairly closely the annual pensions that may be earned at the rates in force in 1928 by officers of equivalent rank. Admirals of the Fleet, £1,692: Field Marshals and Marshals of the Royal Air Force never retire, but, when not employed, re ceive half pay of the same amount : Other Flag Officers, General Officers and Air Officers, up to 11,339.10.0.: Captains, R.N., Colonels and Group Captains R.A.F., up to £846: Commanders R.N., Lieutenant Colonels and Wing Commanders R.A.F., up to £564: Lieutenant Commanders and Lieutenants R.N., Majors and Squadron Leaders R.A.F., up to £423. Long service pensions are granted to Seamen, Marines, Soldiers and Airmen on dis charge after 22 years' service in the Royal Navy, 21 in the Royal Marines and the Army and 24 in the Royal Air Force. Special pensions are also granted in exceptional cases.

The basic pension in each service is, in 1929, at the rate of Od. a day for each year of service while additions are granted for service in ranks or ratings above Able Seaman, Marine, Pri vate or Aircraftman and on attainment of age 55. The average rate of pension is about £65 per annum. Pensions may also be

awarded to men invalided after at least 14 years' service, and gratuities to men invalided after shorter periods of service. Dis ability retired pay and disability pensions, either in the form of additions to the rates for service or otherwise, may be granted to officers and men who on retirement or discharge are found to be disabled above a certain degree from causes attributable to the service. Pensions are granted to the widows of officers dying from wounds, injuries or disease attributable to the service at annual rates varying from £90 (widow of a Sub-Lieutenant. Royal Navy, Second Lieutenant in the Army or Royal Marines or Pilot Officer in the Royal Air Force) to f600 (widow of an Admiral of the Fleet, Field Marshal or Marshal of the Royal Air Force) and "compassionate allowances" of £24 annually to each child within the prescribed age limits.

In cases of death not attributable to the service, widows' pen sions, varying from £45 to .£300 annually (maximum rates) ac cording to the husband's rank, may be granted to widows and "compassionate allowances" up to a maximum of .116 annually to each child. These pensions and allowances cannot be claimed as a right and are not granted to widows without regard to their other means. .Pensions are granted to the widows and children of men only in cases of death attributable to the service. The rates of widows' pension vary from 1o/6d. to 27/6d. weekly according to the rank of the husband and the age of the widow, while the children's pensions are at the rate of 5s. a week. Widows' pen sions may be refused or withdrawn at the discretion of the admin istering authority on account of unworthiness.

The cost for 1926 of the pensions described was approximately as follows :— The cost during the same year of the pensions granted by the Ministry of Pensions in respect of disablement or death attrib utable to the World War and former wars was £56,617,000, of which £3,134,000 was paid to disabled officers, £26,648,000 to dis abled men and £26,835,000 to the dependants of deceased officers and men. (See PENSIONS: THE UNITED STATES.) (C. M. B.) PENSIONS, OLD AGE: see OLD AGE PENSIONS; PENSIONS: THE UNITED STATES.