Odd thought.

So, Field Marshals (and Adm Fleet etc) never retire. They just go on half pay.

So, what happens to their accumulated pension rights? Widows pensions, lump sum payouts and all that?

Not a very important question as it happens what, two or three times a generation, but still…..

4 thoughts on “Odd thought.”

  1. Montgomery was never raised to an earldom like his wartime contemporaries Harold Alexander, Louis Mountbatten and even Archibald Wavell, but unlike them he had never been a Theatre Supreme Commander or held high political office. An official task he insisted on performing in his later years was bearing the Sword of State during the State Opening of Parliament. His increasing frailty, however, raised concerns about his ability to stand for long periods while carrying the heavy weapon. Ultimately, those fears were borne out when he collapsed in mid-ceremony in 1968 and did not perform this function again. A favourite pastime of the British press during these years was to photograph Montgomery cashing his old age pension cheque at the local social security office. Due to his eminence, many assumed Montgomery was wealthy and did not need the money. In fact, he had always been a man of modest means and it caused him great anguish that many believed he was taking taxpayer money he did not need. Another blow was a break-in at his home. Despite his making a televised appeal for the return of his possessions, the items were never recovered.

  2. It doesn’t happen any more – since the Bett review.

    Senior military officers (above Brigadier and equivalents) are now on the SCS pension scheme.

    As far as widows’ rights were concerned, their death was assumed to have retired them (PoD is too young for him to have been an issue). Dunno about the lump sum – good point though.

  3. Shinsei, I’m not sure any of the others got their earldoms for their military work:
    – Archibald Wavell was Viceroy of India, which was an automatic senior peerage job;
    – Harold Alexander was governor general of Canada, which at the time usually came with a peerage;
    – Louis Mountbatten was also Viceroy of India, although he got the Earldom earlier, but he had been born a Serene Highness (German title; they gave them up in WWI in exchange for British ones).

    From what one reads of him, I can’t see Montgomery coping with the diplomatic demands of being a Governor General, even if he’d been offered one.

    Like most things, as the State has grown, senior peerages became a reward for desk jobs rather than military prowess.

  4. The last man to be made a Field Marshall used to live up the road from me (in Islington, as you’d expect). As I understand it, his FM half pay has not increased as the rank is now abolished, so he would now (aged c90) be earning more if he’d retired as a general and got a normal pension.

    I wouldn’t dare to ask about his wife’s pension arrangements – he maintains a certain presence (or as my teenage nephew said “That old guy – what a ledge” [legend]).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *