Financial planning and Pensions for Armed Forces

Financial planning and Pensions for Armed Forces

Please see below some useful resources and projects to help Royal Navy and Royal Marines families with planning their finance.

1. Financial Planning

If you’re looking for free and impartial advice, check out theMoneyHelper website. It is sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions. It has a joint commitment to ensure that people throughout the UK have guidance and access to the information they need to make effective financial decisions over their lifetime.

They can help you improve your finances, using tools and calculators to keep track and plan ahead, they also provide support over the phone or online. 

2. Pensions
Pension Schemes

There are currently three Armed Forces Pension Schemes for members of the Armed Forces:


This scheme was introduced in 1975 and closed to new entrants on 5 April 2005.


This scheme was opened on 06 April 2005. From that date those joining the Regular Armed Forces were eligible to become members of the Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2005. Members of AFPS 75 were given the opportunity to transfer to the new scheme (this offer is now expired).


Introduced on 06 April 2005 for those joining Full Time Reserve Service was RFPS eligible for membership of the Reserve Forces Pension Scheme. Members of AFPS 75-FTRS (Full Time Reserve Scheme) were given the opportunity to transfer to RFPS from this date.


The new Armed Forces Pension Scheme was introduced on 1 April 2015. All Service personnel who are members of an Armed Forces Pension Scheme and who will be serving beyond April 2015 will be automatically transferred to AFPS 15, unless they qualify for transitional protection.

McCloud: Pension Consultation

In 2015 the government implemented reforms to all the main public service pension schemes, including the Armed Forces Pension Scheme. The reforms included a policy of transitional protection that meant members closest to retirement stayed in their old schemes. The Court of Appeal later found the policy to be discriminatory, primarily against younger members, and so since then the government has been working to address the discrimination. Whilst the simplest option would be to put public service pension members back in their legacy schemes, the Government has been clear that it will not do this as a significant number of personnel will be better off in the reformed (2015) schemes. Therefore, the final policy design needs to allow members a choice of which scheme is better for them.

In 2021 the government announced a 12-week consultation seeking views on how to remove the discrimination caused by the transitional rules which meant older Service personnel (SP) remained in their legacy schemes when other, younger, SP were transferred to the reformed scheme in 2015.

The consultation has concluded. You can view the Government’s response from


The organisations/resource below can help you understand your pension/benefits:

Armed Forces Pension Calculator

The Pension & Annual Allowance Calculator provides a guide to the pension benefits you could expect to receive under Armed Forces Pension Schemes.

Also see this step by step guide on how to use the calculator.

Forces Pension Society

Forces Pension Society  is an independent, not-for-profit membership funded organisation that acts as a pension watchdog for the whole military community.

They exist to:

  • Guide members on the technical aspects of their Armed Forces Pension
  • Campaign against any injustices in the policy provision or mal-administration of Armed Forces Pensions
  • Educate the Armed Forces community on all pension matters

They also sit on the MOD Pensions Board and the Public Sector Pensioners Council representing Armed Forces personnel’s interests.

White Ensign Association

The White Ensign Association (WEA) is a registered charity founded jointly by the Royal Navy and the City of London in 1958.

WEA provides free, impartial advice for all serving and former members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines (Regular/Reserve), Royal Fleet Auxiliary and their families.

Their service includes:

  • General guidance and referrals on all aspects of personal finance.
  • Information & guidance on employment and business start-up.
  • Advice and information on resettlement and civilian transition.
  • Advice and assistance on personal administration and general welfare matters.

Homeport Articles

Forces Pension Society article from Homeport Summer '22

Did you know that Forces Pension Society share with our readers useful information in every edition of our free quarterly magazine Homeport


3. Free Legal Advice

The Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre provides free legal advice to members of the public.

These services are provided by their Undergraduate and Postgraduate law students, supported by a number of qualified lawyers. This enables Queen Mary students to learn from practical experience whilst supporting clients with their concerns. 

The Centre offers legal support during term-time (October to May) to individuals, groups and businesses on a wide range of legal issues.

Visit their FAQ page for more information.

4. Making a Will

It’s important to make a Will and keep it up-to-date, to ensure that your money and possessions are allocated according to your wishes. Failure to leave a Will can mean that family and friends have to make difficult decisions on your behalf when they are unsure of your wishes. 

Inheritance Tax
  • Exemption from Inheritance Tax for Fallen Personnel

There is an unlimited exemption from inheritance tax for members of the Armed Forces, and former members, where active service was a contributory factor in their death, whenever it occurred. If you’d like to find out more please see section 154 of theInheritance Tax Actwhich is referred to by the MOD and HMRC. To find out more information, please contact theJoint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC).

Power of Attorney

The Power of Attorney is a legal document whereby one person gives another person/persons the power to act on his or her behalf with regard to his/her health or financial decisions.

RBL - Free Will Writing Service
  • Royal British Legion (RBL) Free Will Writing Service

There is no obligation to donate for this service, but a gift to RBL being included in the Will is always appreciated.

RNRMC - Make a Will

The Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) has partnered with legal experts to offer free Will writing services.

You are not obliged in any way to leave a gift in your Will to the RNRMC although this is always apperciated.

Will Aid - Free Will Month

Will Aid is a UK wide scheme which runs every November to offer free wills to people of any age. Will Aid teams up with over 1,000 solicitors to provide basic wills.

Posted on: 22nd December, 2022
Updated on: 19th February, 2024