Should the Army take a greater interest in solders finances?

Discussion in 'Army Pay, Claims & JPA' started by MrBane, Feb 20, 2011.

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  1. Yes

  2. Yes, but something more flexible

  3. No

  4. No, but we should introduce finance management lessons

  5. Let them figure it out the hard way, I make a fortune on double bubble!

  1. MrBane

    MrBane LE Moderator Reviewer Reviews Editor

    Was talking to a few of the lads and we were discussing something that crops up time and time again; lads being in financial difficulty.

    It's either caused by them being admin mongs when it comes to handling their cash or they've just not thought through / planned ahead well enough.

    So we were trying to decide if it's something the army should take a keener interest in, to a somewhat extreme level.

    In a nutshell;

    Should the armed forces create a compulsory scheme whereby a nominal amount of money is retained every month from that soldiers pay and is put into some government scheme (Bonds?). This money is then released at pre-set career points or on termination of service / death in service / serious casualty status or if the soldier can prove that they are in financial woes (Not just skint by second week but actually have for example, debt letters coming through).

    The money saved in no way replaces bonus schemes or financial incentives and is entirely owned by the soldier. The government / HM Forces has no hold over the money and a soldier can remove themselves from the scheme after four years with payment of monies held but no option to rejoin the scheme.

    I think we covered most of the bases.

    It's something that needs to be looked into, as young lads are just causing themselves huge money problems and this also leads onto other problems in turn.

    This money could go towards a deposit for a home for the future, so if you make it to say, the 6 year point then you can look at getting financial advise reference home / mortgage, etc.

    All input appreciated. It's an interesting and very real / serious subject.

    Oh, and in before anyone starts giving it: "They need to learn the hard way, blah blah, not a f**king nursery, blah blah.."
  2. I hear that McDonalds run the same scheme for their employees.
  3. No it shouldn't, the vast majority of squaddies can look after themselves, let the bellends who can't, go on the hungry soldier list and get paid weekly by the RAO dept. Are there any compulsory schemes for idiot civvies who can manage themsevles?
  4. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    Quite simply - No!
  5. MrBane

    MrBane LE Moderator Reviewer Reviews Editor

    Apologies, I hit 'Make public' thinking it wouldn't show everyone the voting, I didn't realise it's show who had voted for what.

    There are quite a few civilian firms which offer a saving scheme. My wifes firm is one, and she's a Corporate Tax Lawyer!!
  6. Offer or force?
  7. There are a number of savings schemes available through a bank / building society, there is no requirement for more arse wiping to be done.
  8. Who is going to administer your scheme, and at what cost?

    Why can't I (imagine I'm a young soldier) have all my wages?

    Why should we? Does Boots/ICI/Tesco do the same? Sorry, but we do plenty for our soldiers. How the hell do you expect them to cope with real life if you constantly babysit them?
  9. Of course Tescos et al do the same. I said that in the second post. Pfft. It's not rocket science.

    Can I be the first to say that MrBane's idea is **** though?
  10. MrBane

    MrBane LE Moderator Reviewer Reviews Editor

    I think a lot of people are also missing out a bit on the other benefits this system could give.

    You want a deposit for a house. You've had some financial ups and downs, but luckily it's not been so bad that you've had to apply for your Soldier Saving Scheme (Just made that up right there, sounds snazzy!) money.

    When you did got to your RAO office to request the money, they sat you down with the Unit Fiance Rep (A normal clerk with a bit of extra training) who helped you figure out your finances and pointed you in the right direction.
    Had that money been sitting in your bank it would probably have been emptied out and thrown at a problem that it might not have fixed on a permanent basis.

    Now that you're 8 years in and you voluntarily increased your payments four years back, you've actually got a fairly reasonable chunk of dosh sitting there that'll go a fair way towards a deposit.

    You also won £500 on the Bonds as that's what the money is invested in.

    Just as an example.

    As for costs and overheads, we piss enough money away as it is. Lets piss some of it in the right direction.

    This wouldn't just be about helping those that can't manage themselves, it's also got potential to be a good scheme for those that can save but quite like the idea of some money that they really can't touch (easily, anyway).

    Why such rage against a fairly reasonable idea / suggestion? Also, I'm not seeing any actual, real, solid reasons why this is such a bad idea?

    Young soldier gets sat down and patiently explained to him what it's all about. At the early years the payments in start off low and go up in line with level increase / yearly raise / etc, but not by so much that it offsets any pay increase.
  11. Because it's shit.

    Why not save up like the rest of us did. That's how I got my mansion and pedigree dog and sports car.
  12. Thousands of soldiers have managed to save for a mortgage without the army holding their hand. So there are no benefits except for spastics who cant control their cash and they will only take the money early once they get debt letters, so all in all a bit of a waste of time.
  13. MrBane

    MrBane LE Moderator Reviewer Reviews Editor

    Well, obviously this seems to be following the same old trend of; "Screw you Jack, I'm alright."

    My own opinion, and those of the group that were talking about it were all of these lines:

    "Yes, it'd help the lads that might struggle at the start to save money, but hell, I'd get my name down for that. A bit of a kitty out of normal reach and without any hassle."

    We've all got our own homes, manage our money fine, but realise the value behind such a scheme if it was implemented properly.

    This is where the silent struggle starts. He throws money at these debt letters but doesn't learn his mistakes or figure out a solid solution.
    So he goes to get his money and gets sat down with a trained bod that can help him sort it all out instead of just going into a vicious cycle.
    Plenty of civilians find themselves in this cycle all the time. We've got the infrastructure to help deal with those issues, without having to phone all these wanky debt management agencies or deal with people you don't know / trust.
  14. A good idea in principle, but it should not be compulsory; then again nor are Corps Funds but they seem to attract a high subscription rate.

    These things don't run themselves. Someone has to manage the funds and they will want to be paid, just like any other banker. The MOD/Govt cannot be allowed to manage it as they would cream off money over the years (a la Jimmy Hoffa and the Teamsters' Union or Gordon Brown and pension funds) leaving little or no benefit for the saver. A private fund manager may suffer from the traditional conflict of interest between what is good for him and what is good for his clients.

    How do you pick a good private fund manager for the long haul? Well whoever picked the BAOR Officers Sports Fund (name might not be exactly right) manager did an outstanding job, as after 50 or more years they take out plenty each year, but always have more capital at the end of each period. I audited this once and was massively impressed by the low key but steady stewardship.

    I like the idea but with caveats.
  15. Have you been drinking this afternoon? Recreational drugs perhaps? You can tell us now.....