IRC quota level - pension gone!

Discussion in 'Armed Forces Pension Scheme' started by WindyDog, Dec 13, 2010.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Dear All,

    I have just found out today that due to the manning quota levels being put in place this year post SDSR, that only a few applications (40% of normal) for conversion to IRC were granted for DE Captains. My application was 1 point short. On any normal year, this would not be an issue as I would happily work harder and re-apply in 12 months in the hope for better. However, I am rather close to my Immediate Pension Point.

    My SSC+ runs out Apr 2013 and there is apparently no option to extend it further. As I commissioned from the ranks as a DE, my immediate pension point is Dec 2014. As I understand it, I get nothing if I serve out my SSC except a salary until Apr 2013 at which point I become a civvy.

    This will place me uncomfortably close to my minimum pension qualification date (20 months short) and out of a job. Would it be fair to assume that my pension liability has been considered and therefore this is a pure cost saving measure?

    If one were to put themselves in my position, would anyone consider staying put?
  2. IMHO the only person that can answer this objectively is your career manager in Glasgow. Go through your CoC or ring them directly and explain the situation (the CoC route will be preferable if they are prepared to seriously fight your corner, if they are not you might want to take up the reins yourself). There may have been some oversight with regards to your personnel circumstances, or they might just be brutal and tell you didn't make the grade.

    Good Luck
  3. Windy - this is a tricky one.

    They may not have taken your previous service into account, but equally why should they? If they award you an IRC in order for you to hit your IP, you then leave, they only have a year extra from you (not suggesting you would cut away immediately).

    They probably haven't looked at it that way - competition for conversion of commission is strong and you missed it by 1 point. BUT, you do have another application left (?) before you finish, it would just be tight on the timelines.

    Do you want to be in the army or want to leave and were hoping to reach the IP point? I must admit I don't know much about your carried over pension from your service in the ranks, but I presume you hit an age point, not a 16 year point like I would have to hit.

    I was in a similar place when I looked to convert to IRC - I was considering leaving, but not firm on it and also applying for IRC. Admin errors (not mine) led to my IRC application not being considered for 1 board (I suspect 2) and that left me thinking I would not get IRC, but also thinking "do I want to be here?". I eventually go it and the concern went away. It also became the point at which jump ship became less viable financially (pension trap), but I was enjoying stuff more.

    I can understand why you would look to get the most out of the Army financially that you can, but the commissions board is not going to hand you an IRC just so you can reach your IP.

    Tricky...technically, you didn't reach the quality line. It's not as if they're stopping you from getting your IP AND you're good enough, you didn't make it. Whether you jump ship now to avoid uncertainty is your decision - do you have an idea of what you want to do or an offer? If so is that worth more than hanging on another year to see if you get your IRC and then hit the paydirt at IP point soon after?
  4. Thankyou for your analysis and advice. My 1RO has taken up the case but it would appear that the "didn't make the grade, hard luck" is the answer coming back. Whether there is any suggestion that there is a pension related component or purely a performance related knock back is not yet clear, but I look forward to recieving some resolution.

    Django, To clarify the point about my IP and age. As I understand it, the 16 years is calculated from the 21st Birthday as any soldier service before this is disregarded (2 years in my case). I am quite content over this and was made fully aware before committing to comissioned service.

    As you suggest, I understand APC's position if I were to jump ship immediately after my IP, as you rightly point out, what is in it for the Army? Unfortunately there are no return of service ties to getting an IRC to substantiate any claim I make of wishing to stay. For what it is worth I do wish to stay beyond the IP.

    "I can understand why you would look to get the most out of the Army financially that you can, but the commissions board is not going to hand you an IRC just so you can reach your IP"

    On this issue, I am afraid I have to disagree. My motives should be irrelevant, the terms and conditions of service include pension contributions. Any civilian employee is entitled to withdraw their pension contributions, we are not, and the pension entitlement is widely advertised. To withdraw this pension "carrot" as I inch closer is perhaps something of an unfair tease and really is my main source of frustration.
  5. Windy - I can sympathise - the prize being taken away so close to the finish, but they make no guarantees to get you to your IP point when you commission from the ranks. In your case, the IP point is only just the wrong side of the end of your SSC. I don't see how there would be any case against you not getting an IRC. I seriously doubt they would refuse you an IRC because you would hit you IP point soon after - by giving you an IRC they would be taking you to your IP point anyway (assuming you were a DE without prior service). It would appear you didn't hit the line(though frustratingly close). My advice? Try again next year, volunteer for as much as you can (do a staff fill in job?) To persuade them they should keep you in.
  6. While I don't have any personal experience that directly relates, I do know an ex-soldier DE who was recently trying to work out a similar problem concerning his pension and exactly what he was entitled to and when. He spoke to the "Forces Pension Society" who I gather gave him the answers he needed (I don't know whether it was what he wanted to hear necessarily!)

    In terms of not being selected for your IRC: as has already been pointed out, this is a competitive process, if you had been given an IRC in preference to someone else who had scored higher than you, this would have been unfair on them. My recommendation in your case is to speak to your 1 and 2ROs and tell them how important it is to you that you are selected for an IRC on the next board. This will tell them that they need to include the appropriate comments in your next OJAR which will be considered by the conversions of commission board. Clearly you need to earn those comments by performing to the appropriate professional standard.

    The other piece of advice I would give is to ensure (if you can) that once completed, you personally send your application with Commanding Officer's and Formation Commander's comments and signatures on it. I stupidly entrusted this to someone on the G1 staff who then failed to submit it. As a result it took me an extra turn of the handle to get my IRC.
  7. Django - Thankyou, and a fair summary. After much pulling of hair and discussion with Mrs Windy, I will act on your advice personally. I think a call to my career manager at APC is in order tomorrow and I will ask directly what they want from me in order to achieve a place next year.

    The only nagging doubt is that if I end up doing Satan's bidding for a next post and then my application is refused again next year, based upon unforecast revised SDSR quotas I will be left rather high and dry, that and divorced.

    But as you suggest, I must at least make myself an attractive proposition for long term consideration as an interim measure. I guess my naivety at going for what I assumed was a "blade" present job is not necessarily APC's view and was my undoing.
  8. I have to agree with the other posts I don't really know any more about board procedures than the next guy; however, I think I do know the kind of people that we have working alongside us, and they are exactly the same as you or I. Could you really imagine yourself knowingly ******* someone over to shave a couple of sheckles of a muti-ibillion pound deficit in a budget that you are not responsible for? I know I wouldn't, just about everyone I have every met in the army, for better or worse, has the best interests of the Army at heart and is only even remotely interested in what Budgeteers have to say if the chain of command forces them to be.

    I know it might be disappointing to take away the sinister motives, because then it just means you didn't make the grade. But as you have already said if it was a reduced quota you have done pretty well to get within a whisker and there is no reason to suggest you won't get it next year. I think the key is to ensure that you go balls out for the for the next year, like you said your motives are irrelevant - if you do the time, you have earned the reward. Fankly if it meant the difference between hitting the big fat cash carrot that is the IPP and just being out of work, I would spendthe year barking like a dog.

    Two other things, I always thought that soldier service counted at a 50% rate for pensionable service, is that true? Also, if next year's board is a bit close to the wire is there no means of extending your commission without converting it?
  9. Also I don't understand the bit about the 'blade' job. Do you mean you got a crunchy job and it was your undoing? Or you just thought it was but then it turned out to be a bit average?
  10. Agreed, I was disappointed on this exact same issue last year and nearly let it happen again this year. Fortunately a phonecall check to APC and subsequent re-signing and faxing of Annex H at least let my application go to board this year. One out of three applications made it at least.
  11. ORs pension is paid at 22 years service but is calculated from age 18. Officers pension is paid at 16 years but is calculated from age 21. On commissioning from the ranks, the full amount of service is calculated from age 21 but taking into consideration only 16 years is required not 22. If there is a financial loss, the higher of the two is paid. So, to get a half pay pension, an OR must serve 37 years but an officer only needs to serve 34 years. Pension is then worked out at current pay multiplied by number of years served (from age 18 ) divided by 74 for ORs and current pay multiplied by number or years served (from age 21 ) divided by 68 for officers. This will also be your preserved pension which you will get at age 60. If you get the IP at either 16 or 22 years, you will get that amount fixed until you are aged 55 when all rises since will be accrued to you.

    So. effectively, you lose 3 years from your OR pension but gain 6 years on your calculation which is where the story of 50% comes in.
  12. I would certainly regard my job as "crunchy" and it was viewed as a prize job after a "long technical course". IMHO it is certainly on a par with a crunchy SO3 staff job at Bde/Div, but that may an opinion only held by me. A multi corps/service RO chain may not have helped my cause greatly in articulating this to my own Corps for the IRC board.

    By no means a criticism directed at others, I have genuine respect for my RO chain, the buck stops here for blame. As you suggest that soldier service counts for 50%, I will investigate, certainly not what I have been told.

    Edit - Thankyou Exbleep. Very useful and the first time I actually understood what it all means.
  13. TVM Exbleep. I've got to be honest I still don't get it. However, I'm glad that you have put me straight that the 50% yarn is just that. I now know I need to ask a grown up if I face similar questions in the future.