§ Mr. Chope
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many staff left the service of his Department and its agencies in the year ended 31 March 2001; how many left before attaining the formal retirement age of 60 years; and in respect of how many his Department and its agencies assumed responsibilities for making payments until retirement age. 
§ Dr. Moonie
I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office on 13 March 2002,Official Report, column 1071W.
During the period 1 April 2000 to 31 March 2001, 798 employees left the Ministry of Defence on grounds of either early retirement or early severance for which benefits were paid under the civil service compensation scheme.