UK - The Armed Forces Pension Scheme is being forced to pay a claim backdated 42 years to a serviceman who fought in the Second World War.
It is facing a claim of around £200,000 after it contested the serviceman’s initial smaller claim for a pension backdated to age 65.
The serviceman, William Reid, was in the army between 1942 and 1955, but his health deteriorated significantly in 1962 due to shrapnel injuries sustained in the war, making him eligible for a war disablement pension from that date.
Reid, who emigrated to Canada in 1955, only put in a claim for a pension after he had turned 73.
The scheme contested the claim and the case went to the High Court where Mr Justice Newman ruled that Reid should receive a pension backdated to 1962.
Reid’s solicitors, Linder Myers, successfully argued that the secretary of state for defence had failed to inform Reid of the existence of the war pensions scheme.
In the ruling Mr Justice Newman said: “The duty was reasonably incidental to the secretary of state’s overall responsibility for the due and proper administration of the scheme.”
The ruling was forced to rely on an interpretation of the government’s duty as the date of Reid’s service fell before current employment legislation that stipulates a duty to inform.
Norton Rose partner Lesley Browning said: “Within two months of joining employment the employer is obliged to give you full material particulars of your contractual terms.”
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