KUALA LUMPUR: Army veterans who are without pension will receive RM1,200 annually under the Bantuan Bakti Negara (BBN) scheme, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak announced today. This is one of several incentives announced by the prime minister today during the Malaysia Armed Forces (ATM) Veterans' Gathering, in recognition and appreciation of their service and sacrifices for the country. Najib said BBN, which is an effort by the government to help army veterans who are low-income earners and not under the pension scheme, is expected to benefit some 66,000 veterans. "The condition to receive the aid will be based on the criteria for the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M), that is those categorised in the bottom 40% household income group (B40). "A further 10,959 ATM veterans without pension and are aged above 60 years old, but do not qualified for BR1M, will receive RM600 each year," he said in front of some 15,000 army veterans. Also present were Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar and Chief of Army General Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor. Najib also announced a Veterans Annuity Scheme (SAVe), which is an upgrade from the current ATM Services Scheme, for existing armed forces personnel who opt to retire early. Under the scheme, those who retire from their services early will also be eligible to receive monthly payments, while personnel who are forced into retirement in the line of duty will receive an increased pension of between RM300 and RM800. "The government will also increase the Post-Retirement Differential Ability Scheme from RM500 annually to RM1,000 to qualified recipients," he said. In addition, the prime minister has also agreed to increase the hajj quota for ATM veterans from 100 to 400 this year. He said the government has agreed to fund RM5 million for the Tabung Pahlawan this year, the highest collection recorded.