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Finance

Before choosing any kind of insurance, you may want to seek advice from your unit administrative staff, and also check the Services Insurance and Investment Advisory Panel (SIIAP).

 

SIIAP is a panel that is recognised by the Ministry of Defence. It is made up of individuals and firms who are insurance and independent financial advisers specialising in providing services to members of HM Forces.

 

All Member Firms must be authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, offer compensation rights to customers and adhere to the SIIAP Code of Practice.

 

Finding the right insurance company

SIIAP’s members directory can help you find an insurance company according to your location and/or the type of insurance required.

 

Posted on: 29th April, 2016
Updated on: 18th March, 2019

The Ministry of Defence works closely with three credit unions under the banner of Joining Forces and has facilitated direct salary sacrifice via JPA to encourage saving and to make loan repayment simpler. The Department also provides up to date information in respect of pay, pensions and allowances to MoneyForce – the Royal British Legion’s money advice service. Money Force is a joint venture between the Royal British Legion, MOD and the Government’s The Money Advice Service.

 

Both Joining Forces and MoneyForce are proactively providing impartial financial advice through visits to units and bases across the country and most importantly strive to offer the most appropriate product to Service personnel. Credit Unions are not there to make a profit and have a proven track record of ethical lending and better in many instances levels of interest for savings.

 

Because credit unions are not-for-profit, the annual percentage rate (APR) is much lower than banks or payday loan lenders. Typical APR for a credit union is around 12 per cent, whereas for a payday loan it can be up to 1,500 per cent.

 

Service personnel who have taken out a payday loan or are considering doing so can seek advice from any of the Joining Forces credit unions, all of whom have signed the Armed Forces Covenant, or via Money Force.

 

The three service providers are:

 

Posted on: 12th February, 2019
Updated on: 26th June, 2019

There are lots of offers available to Armed Forces personnel and their families:

 

Defence Discount Service

Here you can find discount vouchers for a wide variety of high street shops and restaurants for Serving personnel and their families.

 

Forces Discount

Exclusive Military discounts on a range of days outs, cars and stores.

 

Tickets Troops

Free tickets for members of the Armed Forces for a variety of sporting, musical and cultural events.

 

Forces Cars Direct

The largest online company specialising in tax free military sales, and special discounts on cars for those serving or have served in the Armed Forces.

 

Rewards for Forces

1,000s of National and local discounts for Serving members of the Military and their families.

 

Posted on: 29th April, 2016

If you’re looking for free and impartial advice, the Monday Advice Service is government-run and can help you improve your finances, using tools and calculators to keep track and plan ahead, they also provide support over the phone and in person.

 

The Military Foundation is run by Forces Financial and can provide confidential, free financial advice and debt counselling.

 

MoneyForce can offer advice on borrowing, saving, budgeting and planning. The also offer assistance on pay and allowances specific to the Armed Forces, managing crises and debt to war pensions and compensation.

 

Posted on: 29th April, 2016

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.

Click here, for an overview to how to go about writing a Will and how to ensure it is legal.

 

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, you can visit their website to find out more here.

 

Power of Attorney

A 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. Have you appointed a Power of Attorney?

 

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 the Inheritance Tax Act which is referred to by the MOD and HMRC. To find out more information, please contact the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) on 01452 519 951.

 

RNRMC ‘Make a Will’

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) and Forces Law have partnered up to waive fees for writing basic Wills in return for a donation to RNRMC. The suggested minimum donation is £100 for a single Will and £150 for a Mirror Will. This programme will run from July 2018 to July 2019.

Please visit this site for further information.

 

Free Will Writing Service 

The Royal British Legion (RBL) is a member of The National Free Wills Network. One of their missions is to help Service personnel to have their Will written, or updated. There is no obligation to donate for this service, but a gift to RBL being included in the Will is always appreciated. Please find their contact details and to sign up for the service here.

Posted on: 29th April, 2016
Last updated on: 18th September, 2018

 

Pensions

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

 

1. AFPS 75 (Armed Forces Pension Scheme 1975)

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

 

2. AFPS 05 (Armed Forces Pension Scheme 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).

 

3. RFPS (Reserves Forces Pension Scheme)

Also 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.

 

4. AFPS 15 (Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2015)

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.

 

Forces Pension Society

Forces Pension Society can help you through the understanding your pension and campaign against injustices in the system as they did when winning the right of all widows to retain their pension on remarriage. They also sit on the MOD Pensions Board and on the Public Sector Pensioners Council representing Armed Forces personnel’s interests.

 

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.

 

AFPS McCloud Judgment

The Independent Public Service Pensions Commission Final Report on 10 Mar 11 recommended changes to all Public Service Pension Schemes. The Government accepted the recommendations of the report and the Public Service Pensions Act 2013 was the legislation which introduced new pension schemes in April 2015, including the Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2015 (AFPS 15). Transitional Protection was given to all those who were within 10 years of their scheme’s Normal Pension Age on 1 Apr 12. For the Armed Forces this meant that Regular Service personnel who were aged 45 or over on 1 Apr 12 and Reserve personnel who were aged 50 or over on 1 Apr 12 could remain in their legacy pension scheme rather than transfer to the new scheme.

Members of the Judges’ and Firefighters’ pension schemes have since taken legal action claiming that the Transitional Protection arrangements that were applied to their scheme gave rise to unlawful discrimination. The Court of Appeal upheld their claim and the Supreme Court subsequently refused the Government permission to appeal the judgment.

The Government will remedy this unlawful element within the AFPS – exactly how is yet to be determined, however, Service Personnel will not see any reduction to the pensions they have earned/built up to date, irrespective of the pension scheme they are in. Click here to read the full Government statement. Click here to read an update on this judgement. 

MOD UPDATE (OCT 21)

In order to implement the prospective remedy for McCloud, details of which are outlined below, the MOD are undertaking a public consultation which details the changes that will be made to the Armed Forces Pension Scheme regulations and the effect on members. The consultation will explain the impact of the draft regulations, including the closing of the legacy pension schemes to further accrual from 31 March 2022, and the updating of transitional provisions to include those who previously did not move to AFPS 15. In addition, the regulations will make some retrospective changes to transitional provisions introduced in 2015 to remove age discrimination. The consultation will apply to the Regular and Reserve UK Armed Forces personnel who will continue in service on 1 April 2022 as members of the AFPS 15.

 

The consultation period is expected to run for 8 weeks, between mid-November 2021 to mid-January 2022 and views are encouraged from Serving Personnel and Veterans. More details on the exact dates of the consultation period, including how to respond, will be published soon.

Homeport Articles

Homeport, the NFF’s magazine for serving Royal Navy and Royal Marines families, has produced the below articles to help you understand more about all things pensions:

AFP app informational poster
Introducing the Armed Forces Pension App - Homeport Winter '17 (p.58)
AFPS informational poster
AFPS15/ Forces Pension Society - Homeport Summer '18 (p.6-7)
Pensions informational poster
Interview with Forces Pension Society - Homeport Winter '18 (p.48-49)
Thinking about the unthinkable informational poster
Thinking About the Unthinkable - Homeport Spring '19 (p.40-41)
FAR informational poster.
Financial Aspects of Resettlement (FAR) briefing - Homeport Summer '19 (p.46-47)
Pension sharing informational poster.
Pension Sharing - Homeport Autumn '19 (p.50-51)
McCloud Judgement informational poster
Impact of the McCloud judgement on Armed Forces Pension Schemes - Homeport Winter '19 (p.60)
Avoiding confusion with Pensions poster
Transfer to AFPS 15 - Homeport Spring '20 (p.60-61)
Posted on: 28th April, 2016
Updated on: 29th October, 2021