Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said some 66,000 veterans are expected to benefit from the BBN, which is an extension of the veterans assistance scheme introduced in 2013
KUALA LUMPUR: Armed forces veterans who do not fall under the pension scheme will receive RM1,200 annually under the Bantuan Bakti Negara (BBN) scheme, geared towards improving their livelihood.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said some 66,000 veterans are expected to benefit from the BBN, which is an extension of the veterans assistance scheme introduced in 2013.
He said the aid is a new mechanism for the government to help veterans who are low-income earners and without pension.
“The condition to receive the aid will be based on the same criteria for recipients of the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M), meaning those in the bottom 40 per cent household income group (B40).
“This means that the recipients are those who qualify for BR1M,” he said.
As for veterans without pension who are not BR1M recipients, they will get RM600, provided they are aged 60 and above.
It is estimated that some 10,959 veterans without pension, aged 60 and above will benefit from BBN.
Najib delivered the good news during the Malaysia Armed Forces (ATM) Veterans’ Mammoth Gathering yesterday, which was attended by some 15,000 veterans.
The gathering, held at the Malaysia International Exhibition & Convention Centre (MIECC), was held in conjunction with the launch of Tabung Pahlawan (Warriors’ Fund) 2017.
Najib, who is a former Defence Minister, also announced the Veterans Annuity Scheme (SAVe) which is for existing armed forces personnel.
The scheme, which is an upgrade of the ATM Services Scheme, will benefit personnel who choose to retire early.
They will be able to receive monthly payments despite not being eligible for pension.
“Contributions made under the SAVe scheme will always be in their accounts and will provide them with monthly returns.
“The returns can also be passed on to qualified next of kin when they pass away.
“In general, both the BBN and SAVe are meant to look after the welfare of ATM personnel who opted not to continue their service until they meet the minimum requirement to receive pension,” he said.
Najib also announced an upgrade to the Disability Pension for veterans and full time Wataniah (Territorial Army Regiment) soldiers, as in those who had served for under 10 years and not eligible for pension. This encompasses those who retired early due to line-of-duty disability.
He noted that the payout quantum was based on the extent of injury, rank and length of service when the disability occurred.
“As a result, some veterans under this scheme could only get as little as RM65.
“In view of the current economic situation, it is high time to adjust the pension amount.
“The pension will be increased from 300 to 800 per cent, starting from a minimum payout of RM500 to a maximum of RM2,000,” he said, much to the cheer of the veterans.
Najib also announced another new incentive, the Post-Retirement Differential Ability Scheme which will pay RM500 annually to qualified recipients.
The funding will come from the Tabung Pahlawan while the government will also chip in a further RM500 to bring the total to RM1,000.
The monies will be disbursed twice a year.
The icing on the cake is the increase of haj quotas for veterans, from 100 to 400 starting this year.