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Home Highlights Amendments to BDF pension regulation approved

Amendments to BDF pension regulation approved

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Oct. 29, 2020– Earlier this month, Cabinet approved amendments to the Defence Regulations that bring the Pensions Regulations in alignment with the newly revised Defence Act. These amendments open the door for equitable pension benefits to be received by soldiers and officers of the Belize Defence Force.

In a release issued by the Government of Belize on October 29, it was announced that BDF soldiers will now benefit from a more equitable pension scheme. The regulations were made by the Security Services Commission after consulting the Defence Board, and will benefit regular soldiers, ranked officers, and volunteer soldiers.

“The amendments are necessary to rectify several disparities by providing for the rights and privileges given to officers to also be given to soldiers and vice-versa,” the release said.

The amendments also provide for “ex-gratia” payments to be given to family members of BDF soldiers who have died while on duty.

Soldiers are now required to serve a minimum of 15 years to qualify for a pension. Previously, they would have to serve for 18 years.

Also, those servicemen and women who have become disabled and have served 10 years or more will also qualify for a pension.

Also, regular soldiers under the volunteer battalion now qualify for payment of Death in Harness, in the event that they die while on active duty.

BDF soldiers are still excluded specifically from the Social Security pension scheme, since the legislation that governs the Social Security Board explicitly excludes those soldiers.

While that is the case, these amendments made by the Government will greatly benefit soldiers of all ranks and their family members.

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