Today: Friday, 12 August 2022 year

NATO head defends inclusion of pensions in alliance spending totals

NATO head defends inclusion of pensions in alliance spending totals

NATO Secretary-General reminded that pensions are part of the personnel costs, that’s why these expenses should be included by the alliance members as part of their calculations to hit the 2% GDP expenditure target. 

Jens Stoltenberg said in his speech at the defence ministers meeting in Brussels, that if alliance members have soldiers the governments also are responsible for the paying to military personnel the salaries and their pensions. NATO head has defended the decision to allow alliance members to include pensions as part of their calculations to hit the 2% GDP expenditure target.

In Brussels, NATO Secretary-General said he expects eight members to meet the defence spending baseline this year. The UK currently only just reaches the alliance target – with a total spend of GDP on defence topping 2.1% – but critics have claimed this figure is inflated by items such as pensions.

“Pensions are part of the personnel costs. If you have soldiers you also have to pay their salaries and their pensions,”

Mr Stoltenberg said. He added that NATO members need more defence spending, investment in key capabilities, and forces for alliance missions and operations.

According to NATO head, it is important to deliver on the decision for members to meet the 2% target, set four years ago, and that so far there has been a “good start” to achieving this.

“More and more nations and Nato allies are moving towards 2%, and more and more allies are reaching the 2% target.

“This year we expect eight, and according to national plans that allies have presented at least 15 nations will be at 2% by 2024.

“This is a good start, this is the first year with what we call national plans, and we will urge allies to do more and revise national plans, and improve defence spending.

“After three years we have really turned a corner – after years of decline, Nato allies have started to increase defence spending again.

“Now, the focus is on delivering what we have promised,”

Stoltenberg said.