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BRITISH GURKHA WELFARE SOCIETY & ORS v MINISTRY OF DEFENCE

Pension arrangements put in place for retired Gurkha soldiers following a review by the Ministry of Defence did not discriminate on grounds of age or nationality in the context of the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 Protocol 1 art.1 in combination with art.14, nor were they irrational. Further, in making the arrangements it had, the MoD had paid due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity and good relations between people of different racial groups, as required by the Race Relations Act 1976 s.71.

19 January 2010

The claimants (G) applied, by way of judicial review, to challenge the pension arrangements put in place for Gurkhas following a review by the defendant government department (MoD). Historically, pension arrangements for Gurkhas and others serving in the British army were entirely separate and calculated on different bases. Following the MoD's review in 2007, which was implemented by the "Gurkha Offer to Transfer" (GOTT) and the Armed Forces (Gurkha Pensions) Order 2007, Gurkhas were able to elect to transfer to the Armed Forces Pension Scheme (AFPS) from the Gurkha Pension Scheme (GPS) but only if they served after July 1, 1997. For time served after that date, the transfer rights were calculated on a full year for year basis of service so that pension accrued broadly in the same way as it did for other British soldiers. However, for time served prior to July 1, 1997, the transfer value was calculated on an actuarial basis for service given. Thus, accrued rights were transferred wi...

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