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).
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.
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, 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: