Pension improvements



Does this improve things?

Changes to the Armed Forces pension announced today will result in more benefits for widows and extend the scheme to cover unmarried partners.

The new Armed Forces pension and compensation schemes include:

A death-in-service benefit of four times pensionable pay - an increase from one and a half times;
A rise of one quarter in widow(er)'s pension compared to the current scheme; and
An extension of dependants' benefits to unmarried partners where there is a substantial relationship.
Defence Minister Ivor Caplin said:

"These changes reflect key concerns raised during consultation and address the need to make proper provision for those who are left behind when personnel are killed in service."

The new compensation scheme will provide better focus on the severely disabled. Lump sum payments will, for the first time, be available for pain and suffering resulting from injury. A guaranteed income stream will be awarded for more serious injury where there is a loss of earnings capacity. Benefits will be extended to include unmarried partners.

"The Ministry of Defence is also, with immediate effect, extending to all deaths due to service the provisions introduced on 20 March 2003 which provided benefits to unmarried partners for deaths related to conflict," said Mr Caplin.

The new pension scheme will be introduced in April 2005 for new entrants, and the new compensation scheme will be introduced in April 2005 for all injuries, illnesses and deaths due to service which occur on or after that date. Members of the Armed forces will be given the option of remaining in the existing pension scheme or transferring to the new scheme


According to the financial pages of the Daily Telegraph this saturday, anyone on the new scheme will lose 3 times thier salary at retirement. ie a major would lose about £120,000. so you will excuse me if I stay on the current scheme. Any blackmail about the improved death benefits will be met with-see my increased insurance cover.

I'm sure there will be those who are better off, but personally I doubt I will be.

My concern is that this goes further to show that this Government has nothing but contempt for members of the Armed Forces in that they totally fail to understand and seem unwilling to find out about the unique pressures of life in the forces.

Here is the link to the article-read it and weep.
This includes flat payments between ages 37 and 55, after which payments are index-linked. Under the new scheme, a major will receive level payments between now and age 65, after which payments will be index-linked.
Can someone please explain to me the difference between 'flat' payments and 'level' payments?
Hasve been advised to stay on the old scheme. After all the forces only change things to save money I do believe!!

Are we going to be getting breifings on this,? Have seen paperwork but it is all full of jargon and figures that not all will be able to understand.
Has anyone seen any views yet from the Officers' Pension Society? (I'm too mean to join, and too idle to search for their website!)
the rumours around camp are that under the new pension provisions Soldiers are ablr to 'stay on the books' for 35 yesrs. Therefore, they will not retire until they are 55. Is this correct.
Please find below the link to the Forces Pension Society for thier view on the announcement: Release.pdf

In essence they welcome the increase in benefit when death in service but not the overall amount that we receive at the age of 55. The maximum anyone can earn (eg MPs) is 66% of pay at retirement aged 65 but because we retire earlier, then we can only earn 62%. The society is fighting our case.

I am not connected in anyway to the Forces Pension Society which are an independant organisation, but for the price of a round of drinks (£20) I think their yearly subscription is money well spent. It is good to have someone fighting for us outside the chain of command.
Ramillies, I respect you and your opinions. Do these pension changes affect persons like me who are expecting to start receiving a pension in approximately 6 years. I served for 21 1/2 years, retired in '89.

As far as I am aware - there is no change to those who have left the service - though it would be worth checking. (I will investigate at work tomorrow and post a reply here).

Those who are still serving have an option to change and those who will be joining in 2005 .. they have no option but to change.
Sorry Kenr, not being disrespectful just shocked that you only had 6 months to do before getting a full pension.
The grass was greener on this side of the pond. Would you turn down a job offer of $14,000 every 6 weeks?!?!? Also the Army would not release me, so I had to wait for a year. If I had known that they would not release me until then I would have stayed for the extra 6 months.


Book Reviewer
As an escapee from the full-time Military (except of course for for TA and call-up :lol: ), I can tell you that the Civil Service recently underwent a similar change to its pension scheme. Without offering advice, I can only say that the only people I know who changed from the old to the new scheme (other than new entrants, who are given no choice) are those who live with a partner and, for whatever reason (insert homophobic comment here to taste) do not or cannot marry.

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