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Scotland Act 1998

Section F4: War Pensions
Purpose and Effect

This Section reserves war pensions.


The current law on war pensions is contained in a mixture of statute law and a variety of Orders made under the Royal Prerogative.  War pensions are payments made in respect of death or disablement of ex servicemen and a wide range of auxiliary, reserve and analogous personnel including in certain circumstances civilians.  Basic entitlement to a war pension arises where disablement or death of a member of the armed forces has occurred or arisen in consequence of service at any time since the First World War.  War pensions are distinct from state pensions paid from the National Insurance Fund (which are in any case reserved under Section F1 (Social Security Schemes)).  Service pensions for those in the armed forces, which are analogous to public service occupational pensions, are also distinct from war pensions, but these are reserved in any case under Section F3 (Occupational and Personal Pensions).  War pensions are paid by the Department of Social Security.

Schemes for the payment of war pensions also contain powers to make a variety of other payments.  For example, the Secretary of State has a discretionary power under Article 26 of the Naval, Military and Air Forces Etc. (Disablement and Death) Service Pensions Order 1983 to meet necessary medical expenses arising from war disablement that are not otherwise provided for under UK legislation.

The reservation includes the provision and administration of such pensions, and the establishment and regulation of public bodies, including tribunals and advisory and executive bodies, with functions in connection with these matters.  Thus the establishment and functions of the Pensions Appeal Tribunal, the Central Advisory Committee on War Pensions and the local War Pensions Committees are all reserved.

Details of Provisions

The first part of the reservation reserves schemes for the payment of pensions, as defined, for or in respect of persons who have a disablement or who have died as a consequence of service as members of the armed forces of the Crown.

The second part of the reservation reserves the subject-matter of a number of particular schemes made under the following enactments which enable provision to be made, which is analogous to war pensions, in respect of persons other than ex-servicemen.  These are:


the Personal Injuries (Emergency Provisions) Act 1939.  The 1939 Act makes provision for a scheme for making payments in respect of certain personal injuries to civil defence volunteers and civilians during World War II;


the Pensions (Navy, Army, Air Force and Mercantile Marine) Act 1939, sections 3 to 5 and 7.  Section 3 makes provision for the payment of awards to or in respect of mariners in British ships who have suffered war related injury or detention.  Section 4 makes similar provision for pilots, crews of pilot boats, lighthouses etc., section 5 for certain persons serving on naval ships and section 7 makes general provision for these schemes; and


the Polish Resettlement Act 1947.  The 1947 Act makes provision for war pensions and other payments and assistance to be given to Polish naval and armed forces under British command during the Second World War and Polish resettlement forces and their dependants.

Illustrations of reservation

The provision of pensions under the Naval, Military and Air Forces Etc. (Disablement and Death) Service Pensions Order 1983 is given as an illustration of the scope of the reservation.  The 1983 Order provides the power for payment of a range of pensions, grants, allowances, supplements and gratuities in respect of persons disabled or who have died through service in HM Forces.


For the purposes of this Section, ‘pensions’ include grants, allowances, supplements and gratuities.  This encompasses all of the various means by which compensation in respect of war injuries is given.

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