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Oct 29, 2020

Amendments to B.D.F. Pension Regulations

At Price Barracks tonight there is a sigh of relief. That is because government has announced amendments to the Defense Force Pension Regulations which, according to a press release, will bring soldiers benefits up to par with what officers receive.  The B.D.F. has been lobbying for years for improved conditions which have finally been approved.  The new amendments now provide for soldiers to serve for a minimum of fifteen years to qualify for a pension – prior this amendment qualifying pension period was set at eighteen years.  In addition, members of the force who have served ten years but have to leave active service because of injury or illness will also be eligible for a pension. Other amendments include a mandatory ex gratia payment for the beneficiaries of members who die while performing a duty, as well as a payment of Death in Harness for regularly employed Volunteers. According to the press release, these and other amendments to the Defense Force Regulations make available similar payments of pensions and grants that are offered to the Belize Police Department and the Belize Coast Guard.  On October thirteen, Cabinet gave approval for the financial provisions of the amendments which will, “bring the Pensions Regulations in alignment with the newly revised Defense Act…which 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 National Assembly, on September twenty-fifth, approved the newly revised Defense Act as recommended by the Defense Board and Cabinet gave its nod on October thirteenth.

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