TA Pay and Benefits payments/penalties.

#1
It's recently stuck me (yes I'm unemployed again) how much of a con is played on us. TA pay can't be counted when you're trying to get something from the banks, we're Casual workers cos MoD say so and so don't get anything benefit wise from them i.e pensions. The whole casual worker thing baffles me cos I've never heard of casual workers with careers paths, Confidential Reports and grief when you don't turn up, nor forced to join a club and pay extra (Sargeants Mess) or spend your own money to buy clothes you wear maybe 3 times a year.

Anyway. Benefits. Why is it you can get royally F**ked about by dead end F**kwits trying to explain the working of the TA pay system. Messed around when you go on Annual camp, messed around for Housing Benefit. I have the fun of constantly explaining why my TA payslip is late every month which causes me grief.

Why the hell does TA pay count against benefits I'm entitled to ? Why don't they just stop counting what you earn from the TA, it's not as if there are millions of us, we pay tax and NI on what the TA pay us.
 
#2
I have to admit, I dont understand things at all....If its casual work, then surely we cant predict exactly what we may earn from it in the next few months....

I'm in the process of applying for legal aid, and theres a form that members of the Armed Forces fill in, covering last 3 months pay. I'd be screwed if Camp had been at the normal time this year....What happens if those 3 months just happen to cover a busy period, and for the rest of the year you manage one weekend a month?

I think at the end of the day, we're classed as casual, because it suits them not to do so, and excludes us from some of the various schemes/benefits run for Regs. It has not occured to the powers that be though that fairly often we do the same job as the Regs, sometimes even doing the whole job ourselves, with absolutely no-one knowing that we're TA.

As a side note, how many mixed TA/Reg courses has anyone been on, where no-one, not even DS have sussed you're in the TA.....
 
#3
Kitmarlowe said:
when you're trying to get something from the banks
While not defending the TA pay system, your pay is used when calculating how much you can borrow for a mortgage.
 
#4
Playing devil's advocate (so no flamethrowers, eh?):

Kitmarlowe said:
It's recently stuck me (yes I'm unemployed again) how much of a con is played on us.
Not really. The rules haven't changed since you joined (it has always been thus). And it IS voluntary, so you could leave.

Kitmarlowe said:
TA pay can't be counted when you're trying to get something from the banks, we're Casual workers cos MoD say so and so don't get anything benefit wise from them i.e pensions. The whole casual worker thing baffles me cos I've never heard of casual workers with careers paths, Confidential Reports and grief when you don't turn up, nor forced to join a club and pay extra (Sargeants Mess) or spend your own money to buy clothes you wear maybe 3 times a year.
Nah. An apprentice plumber might be considered "casual" (i.e., he's only paid if he turns up), but still be given grief if he no-shows. He's got a career path (albeit with only three or so steps - apprentice, "journeyman", and then running his company). No-one else is going to pay for his clothes. He's going to have to pay to be in the plumber's guild or whatever.

I'll grant you CRs are somewhat TA specific, but the rest is not unreasonable.

Kitmarlowe said:
Anyway. Benefits. Why is it you can get royally F**ked about by dead end F**kwits trying to explain the working of the TA pay system. Messed around when you go on Annual camp, messed around for Housing Benefit. I have the fun of constantly explaining why my TA payslip is late every month which causes me grief.

Why the hell does TA pay count against benefits I'm entitled to ? Why don't they just stop counting what you earn from the TA, it's not as if there are millions of us, we pay tax and NI on what the TA pay us.
In this, I totally agree with you. They shouldn't be having both ways - not being able to tell you in advance what you will earn, but still expect you to when applying for benefits. TA pay should not be "declarable" any more than it already is (i.e., for the taxman to take his share and the NI).

FF.
 
#5
Friendly_Fire said:
Playing devil's advocate (so no flamethrowers, eh?):

Kitmarlowe said:
It's recently stuck me (yes I'm unemployed again) how much of a con is played on us.
Not really. The rules haven't changed since you joined (it has always been thus). And it IS voluntary, so you could leave.

Kitmarlowe said:
TA pay can't be counted when you're trying to get something from the banks, we're Casual workers cos MoD say so and so don't get anything benefit wise from them i.e pensions. The whole casual worker thing baffles me cos I've never heard of casual workers with careers paths, Confidential Reports and grief when you don't turn up, nor forced to join a club and pay extra (Sargeants Mess) or spend your own money to buy clothes you wear maybe 3 times a year.
Nah. An apprentice plumber might be considered "casual" (i.e., he's only paid if he turns up), but still be given grief if he no-shows. He's got a career path (albeit with only three or so steps - apprentice, "journeyman", and then running his company). No-one else is going to pay for his clothes. He's going to have to pay to be in the plumber's guild or whatever.

I'll grant you CRs are somewhat TA specific, but the rest is not unreasonable.

Kitmarlowe said:
Anyway. Benefits. Why is it you can get royally F**ked about by dead end F**kwits trying to explain the working of the TA pay system. Messed around when you go on Annual camp, messed around for Housing Benefit. I have the fun of constantly explaining why my TA payslip is late every month which causes me grief.

Why the hell does TA pay count against benefits I'm entitled to ? Why don't they just stop counting what you earn from the TA, it's not as if there are millions of us, we pay tax and NI on what the TA pay us.
In this, I totally agree with you. They shouldn't be having both ways - not being able to tell you in advance what you will earn, but still expect you to when applying for benefits. TA pay should not be "declarable" any more than it already is (i.e., for the taxman to take his share and the NI).
FF.
Hear Hear!!

Could this be something for the PM to tackle now that he's listened on hospital treatment and tax releif when deployed overseas on ops? Doubt it...
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#6
Remember, if you make TA pay non declarable, you lose the potential to include it in mortgage applications etc as per ST2Bs comments.

You are not going to get it both ways, and somebody will always lose out.
 
#7
The_Duke said:
Remember, if you make TA pay non declarable, you lose the potential to include it in mortgage applications etc as per ST2Bs comments.

You are not going to get it both ways, and somebody will always lose out.
And, of most note, it's also used when calculating how much you get paid when you're mobilised.
 
#8
StabTiffy2B said:
The_Duke said:
Remember, if you make TA pay non declarable, you lose the potential to include it in mortgage applications etc as per ST2Bs comments.

You are not going to get it both ways, and somebody will always lose out.
And, of most note, it's also used when calculating how much you get paid when you're mobilised.
Didn't realise that. In my position, my civilian salary determines those things, but I recognise that may only apply to me...

Still, you could recognise the income without making it relevant to means-testing. But I guess that would be anomalous with the rest of the system, and would mean other jobs would just purport themselves to be "casual" to avoid this.

FF.
 
#9
Friendly_Fire said:
Didn't realise that. In my position, my civilian salary determines those things, but I recognise that may only apply to me...
Not quite sure I understand you there. Mobilised pay is Civvy Pay + TA Pay (from your P60) not including your bounty + 5%, OR your regular Army pay. Whichever is highest.

This only applies if you've received your previous 2 years bounty.
 
#10
StabTiffy2B said:
Friendly_Fire said:
Didn't realise that. In my position, my civilian salary determines those things, but I recognise that may only apply to me...
Not quite sure I understand you there. Mobilised pay is Civvy Pay + TA Pay (from your P60) not including your bounty + 5%, OR your regular Army pay. Whichever is highest.

This only applies if you've received your previous 2 years bounty.
Yeah, but if (like me) you haven't got two years' bounties, you just get your civvy pay, don't you?

FF.
 
#11
Guys , I can see this is going to drift off into a 'worthy and convoluted' debate.

Let's keep it simple shall we.

We want TA personnel exempt from Benefit clawbacks. We want them not to have to sign off for the duration of Annual camp , so losing benefit and having to be re-introduced to the system.

We do not want their benefit to be affected by TA weekends , Annual Camps or Career/Education courses.

Most of all , we want recruits who are on the Baroo now , as we have them applying , realising that their benefits could be quite badly affected , and binning their applications which is ridiculous.

I was aware of this before and how it affected our Northen sister Battalion. Their Colonel was able to work something out with the dole as I remember, though this was 1997. I recently became further aware of the rules affecting benefit, because I drink with the Manager (ex-Infantry) of the largest Job Centre hereabouts.

He was supportive of my idea to put a recruiting stand into his Job Centre for a week , but pointed out why the idea would fall at the first hurdle with the current legislation.

Therefore I move we initiate a campaign to get Reserve Forces exempt from rules governing payment of benefits and benefit clawbacks;

1. Because an individual has presented him or herself for service, they should be exempt from penalities.

2. Because this is a very large pool of potential recruits we are missing out on.

Therefore, I'd like to see this thread move into planning a campaign to get this issue flagged in the media, questions asked in the house, and this legislation changed.

We can get this done.

PTP
 
F

fozzy

Guest
#13
Friendly_Fire said:
I absolutely agree.

FF.
Me too - nicely put PtP.

Perhaps one for BAFF? Or any lurking journos - I think they owe ARRSE one, after the copy its given them over the past few weeks.
 
#14
I have to admit that I have repeatedly been told, by the RAO and various PSAO that I can not use the income that I earn thro the TA to boost any application for a mortage and that they will not provide any evidence to a Mortage company. Yes, the extra money in the bank would make life just little easier if I was paying a mortage but I can't claim I'll always get £200 a month.

On the Plumber thing, that's a little Red Herring. I don't wear Mess Kit everytime I eat dinner whilst I'm away, nor can I claim Tax relief for it. A plumber wear clothes to work cos being naked in public gets you arrested. Not wearing safety clothing when required gets you in trouble with HSE.

And yes, BAFF picking up that point for all Reserve Forces would be nice
 
#15
Bump , come on fellas let's get stuck into this.
 
#16
Im currently in the application proccess of joining the TA and how does the TA affect the dole? I'm currently leaching Income Support whilst living independently in my final year of A-levels.
 
#17
Divide your monthly TA by 5 and take £20 off that figure, which is supposedly what you earnt in a week. I can't remember if travel expenses are deducated. What ever is left over is deducated pound for pound from your dole.

So. If the TA pay you £100 in a month you will have earnt £20 per week, which means no deducations.

If TA pay for one month is £200 then you will have earnt £40 a week, which means you lose £20 per week off your dole money.

At best, you'll get an extra £20 per week. Great!

Now you see why I'm whinging.
 
#19
Its pretty crap. But I think the point of the Dole AKA Job Seekers Allowance is to encourage you to find a job.

If it paid a decent amount then some people would stop looking. If I could do TA and get an extra cash top up then I'd be tempted.

I think the Crux of the matter is (they think) you shouldn't be wasting valuable Job Seeking time doing TA.
 
#20
The TA is not and is not meant to be a full time job. It does not have the additional benefits (pension etc) that need to be taken into account and will not pay your full NI contributions if you rely purely on your TA pay. In addition you have no guarantee of work and a limit on your earning potential which may start at 50 days. If you need/want full time employment in a military role then regular or FTRS service are more appropriate.

Having said that, every TA unit needs a proportion of TA personnel who can do those extra jobs, prep for ECI, cadet camps etc. These jobs inevitably get done by unemployed soldiers and we could not operate without their help. Bdes and above rarely seem to understand this.

If you're earning over the limit and you're only receiving job seekers allowance then, logically, you've got a job and get on with it: you have enough money to get by on. You should not receive an individual subsistence allowance if you are receiving pay from another source.

Where the issue lies is the stopping of other means tested benefits: housing, child support etc. It is these benefits which should be separated and protected from the unpredictable vagaries of TA pay. It is widely recognised that this 'poverty trap' prevents many from starting any work, not just TA service and this is where the campaign should be directed.

The knock on to this is whether someone who is in this situation (kids, elderly/disabled relative possibly?) is suitable for TA service - ie mobilisation; but that is a whole different can of worms!

My biggest concern is for individuals who rely on TA pay as their sole source of income over their employable lifetime (and we all know a few) they are unlikely to have saved or payed money into a pension scheme and, unless they are really switched on, are unlikely to have contributed enough NI contribution to qualify for a state pension, however low that may be.
 

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