Government Reform to State Pensions
Changes to the State Pension Scheme are planned to come into effect from April 2017. The Government will introduce a flat rate state pension to replace the current two-tiered system. Armed Forces personnel and Civil Servants who are members of their respective pension scheme currently pay a reduced National Insurance (NI) contribution and have “Contracted Out”. From April 2017 members will no longer receive the Contracted Out reduction in NI contributions and their payments will therefore increase. For those individuals who qualify, the likelihood is that they will receive more state pension under the new system than the current system. Click here for further details.
Change to Pension Tax Relief Annual Allowance /Life Time Allowance
The Government has announced that the Pension Tax Relief Annual Allowance limit will be reduced from £50,000 to £40,000 and the Life Time Allowance limit will be reduced from £1.5M to £1.25M. These changes take effect from April 2014. Those who breech their limits may incur a tax charge. Click here for details.
Final Agreement: Future Armed Forces Pension Scheme
On 16 October 2012 the Defence Secretary announced in Parliament the final agreement on the design of the new Armed Forces Pension Scheme. This follows the end of consultation in September. A new Armed Forces Pension Scheme (currently referred to as the Future AFPS) will be introduced from April 2015 for all serving personnel (including Reservists who are members of an Armed Forces pension scheme) who are not covered by transitional protection. The key features of the new scheme remain unchanged from the Outline Scheme Design published at the end of July, but now also includes additional choice in how the Early Departure Payment (EDP) may be taken, depending on individual needs.
Early Pension Payments
There has been reports that Service Personnel selected for redundancy are missing out on early pension payments. Everyone selected for redundancy who misses out on early pension payments will still get a preserved Armed Forces pension, payable at 60 or 65. Click here for details.
A New Armed Forces Pension Scheme: End of Consultation
The second phase of consultation on the proposed Outline Scheme Design, which followed an initial period of consultation earlier this year, closed on 7 September. In excess of 25,000 Service personnel overall participated in both phases of the consultation. Click here to read about the key themes arising from the final consultation and the responses to these concerns.
A New Armed Forces Pension Scheme – Publication of the Outline Scheme Design
A new Armed Forces Pension Scheme will be introduced, but not before April 2015. The MOD has published the Outline Scheme Design of the new pension scheme. Click here for details, including a summary of the main features of the new scheme, a link to the full Outline Scheme, a message from the Chief of Naval Personnel & Training and Second Sea Lord, and a video from the Future Armed Forces Pension Scheme team.
Announcement on the MOD's Future Armed Forces Pension Scheme
The MOD’s Future Armed Forces Pension Scheme team has announced that the first step in forming the new scheme had been achieved. Click here for details.
Future Armed Forces Pension Scheme: Preferred Design
On 2 November 2011 the Government published a paper called ‘Public Service Pensions: good pensions that will last’, which sets out its preferred design for future public service pensions. Click here or details.
Report on Pensions
The Independent Public Service Pensions Commission (IPSPC) has published its final report following the review of public sector pension schemes. Lord Hutton was invited to Chair an independent review by the Government. The report sets out his recommendations to the Government on pension arrangements that are sustainable in the long term, fair to both the public service workforce and the taxpayer and consistent with the economic challenges ahead, while protecting accrued rights. Click here to visit the HM Treasury website where you can read the full report (summary of recommendations at Annexe A) and find related information including a FAQ document. The Government will respond to the report and its recommendations at a later date.
General Pensions Information
Armed Forces Pensions – Click here to view the MOD’s comprehensive guide to Armed and Reserve Forces Pension Schemes, Compensation Schemes and Benefits.
Armed Forces Pension Calculator
Service Personnel and Veterans Agency -(SPVA) –The Service Personnel and Veterans Agency run the JPAC Enquiry Centre, which deals with various issues including pension and pay. If you have such a query please contact JPAC on the details below with your service number to hand. The centre is open from 0700 – 19:00 Monday – Friday.
Tel: 0141 224 3600
Forces Pension Society – This independent organisation exists to ensure that serving and retired members of the Armed Forces, their widows, widowers, surviving partners, civil partners and dependants, receive the pension to which they are entitled and which they deserve. It is an independent, not-for-profit organisation, allowing it to campaign objectively on behalf of their members and of members of the Armed Forces generally. For more information on the society, please visit their website.
Pension Rights on Divorce and the Dissolution of Civil Partnerships