Pension Benefit Statement
Pension boost for war veterans
Pension benefits for Bermuda’s war veterans are to be increased, the national security minister said yesterday.
Wayne Caines told the House of Assembly that Bermuda had a “long history of military and war involvement”.
But he added: “Unfortunately our veterans have not always gotten the respect and recognition they deserve due to a myriad of racial and economic injustices that were inscribed into the laws and policies of the day.”
Mr Caines said that pension problems arose for veterans who had volunteered for service but were not sent overseas.
He added: “Until amendments to the [War Pensions] Act in 2007 brought forth by the then PLP Administration, these soldiers were denied benefits and even the title of war veterans.”
Mr Caines said the Government was “committed to advancing policies that help to right this wrong”.
He said that the War Pension Commissioners, a group made up of former military members, had submitted a proposal to increase the monthly benefit from $800 to $1,000 in 2019.
Mr Caines said that the Government had accepted the recommendation.
He said the proposed increase would cost about $162,000 in fiscal year 2019-20.
Mr Caines added: “Partial budgetary provision has already been made within the Budget allocation for the war vets programme administered by the Department of Social Insurance.
“The additional cost will be funded from savings within the current Ministry of Finance Budget allocation.”
He said that the Government was “sympathetic” to the financial needs of veterans.
Mr Caines added: “These men, and some women, served their country in this capacity because it was the right thing to do.
“They have never sought handouts and deserve to be honoured at every opportunity.
“The Government is hopeful that this increase will assist not only the veterans themselves, but will also offer some relief to the family members who care for them.”