Association: Give older war veterans reasonable pensions

KUALA LUMPUR: Pensions for Armed Forces personnel who have retired before 2004 are significantly lower than those who did after that date. The Veteran Association of Malaysian Armed Forces wants the Government to address the disparity in Budget 2018.

Its president Senator Admiral (R) Tan Sri Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor said an 8% to 10% increase to the pensions of the older veterans could narrow the gap between them and those who retired after 2004.

“There is a wide gap of between 50% and 100% because the older veterans were paid at a lower scale,” he said, claiming that a recently retired Sergeant enjoyed a better pension than a Major who retired in 1990.

Mohd Anwar said the Government should consider increasing the pension quantum by 10% for those who retired before 1993, 8% for those who retired between 1994 and 2003, and maintain the 2% increase for the rest.

He added that there was an estimated 70,000 veterans who retired before 2004 and the association had been putting forward this suggestion for the past three years.

“We believe this will help many veterans live out the rest of their lives comfortably,” he said,

Mohd Anwar acknowledged that retired civil servants were also pursuing an increase in their pensions but hoped the Government put the needs of retired servicemen first due to the sacrifices they have made for the country.

“We cannot leave our posts no matter the situation and we sacrifice our lives for the country. Furthermore, we are not allowed to form any organisations unlike regular civil servants,” he said.

The association also hoped for an extension in derivative pensions enjoyed by about 11,000 widows of remarried veterans.

The life span of this pension is 20 years from the year a serviceman retires.

“These widows still needed to take care of everyday expenses after the death of their husbands, including their children’s education and healthcare,” he said.

The association is also asking for an annual bonus, equivalent to a month’s pension.

“The yearly RM250 is hard to stretch given the current economic climate,” he said.

Mohd Anwar said they will continue striving for improved benefits for the estimated 113,000 veterans, with pensions nationwide.

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