Strategic Defence & Security Review (SDSR)

NFF / Policy & Reports / Strategic Defence & Security Review (SDSR)

On 19 October 2010 the Government published ‘Securing Britain in an Age of Uncertainty: The Strategic Defence and Security Review’. The Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) is a cross Government, Cabinet Office led, review which details how our Armed Forces will be reshaped to tackle emerging and future threats.

The Review considers threats to the UK, and the UK’s place in the world, as articulated in the National Security Strategy. It has taken place whilst we are engaged in the ongoing campaign in Afghanistan and in a particularly difficult financial environment, one in which there is a need to tackle the national deficit and unaffordable Defence budget.

The announcement of the Review is the first step in an ongoing process. The details must be built upon and as and when more information is known we will promote it on this dedicated section of our website. Be sure to keep checking for important updates that may affect you and your family.

  • Strategic Defence and Security Review – The outcome of the Strategic Defence and Security Review has been released. The Review details how our Armed Forces will be reshaped to tackle emerging and future threats. Click here to view the summary on the MOD website. The full document entitled, ‘Securing Britain in an Age of Uncertainty: The Strategic Defence and Security Review’, can be found in their ‘Related Links’ section on the right of the page.
  • SDSR Factsheets –Click here to visit the Cabinet Office’s website, where there is a list of factsheets on the SDSR. Each factsheet addresses a different section of the Review. Factsheets: 1-6, 9-15, 17 and 21 will be of particular interest to Naval Service families.
  • How does the SDSR affect you?
    Click here to read a comprehensive document, produced by the Naval Staff Policy Team, which explains the Review in an easily digestible ‘question and answer’ format.

Below we have highlighted a few important strands from the document which will be of interest to our families:

The RN and RM are expected to reduce by about 5000 by 2015, reducing the overall strength to around 30,000 and coming down to about 29,000 by 2020.  Every effort will be made to achieve these reductions through natural wastage whilst maintaining a sustainable recruiting inflow.  There will be a need within the RN for targeted compulsory redundancy in order to deliver savings likely to be imposed by the SDSR.”

“When will be personnel reductions start? – Not anticipated before April 2011.”

“We expect that existing medical and dental benefits will remain.  Some allowances will be abolished and some will be reduced or remain frozen.  The outcome for pensions is subject to a number of Government-led Reviews which are considering public sector pensions across the board and the tax implications.  We expect that pension rights earned to date will be protected, but cannot say what the position will be once these Reviews have made their recommendations.”

“A smaller force must mean fewer activities for the Naval Service as a whole, but the impact on individuals is difficult to quantify.  It depends on your skills, your unit and its operating pattern.  Harmony levels are likely to be unchanged.  The impact on Service Housing is not yet clear.  We need first to work through the implications for force structures.”

“There is further work to be done, and further big decisions to be made.  As soon as we know more we will pass this on to you through the chain of command. “

If you have any questions that have not been answered in the question & answer document, please get in touch and we will raise your concerns through the Chain of Command.

Comments on the SDSR

The NFF on the Strategic Defence and Security Review – NFF Chair, Kim Richardson, talks to the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) about the findings of the Strategic Defence and Security Review, and what it means to our families. Click here to listen to the clip. Please be patient – it may take a moment to load.

Prime Minister on the SDSR – Click here to read Prime Minister David Cameron’s statement to the House of Commons on the Strategic Defence and Security Review.

Defence Secretary on the SDSR – The Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, has given a speech (25 Oct) at the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) industry dinner, addressing the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR). Dr Fox spoke about the background, implications and future of the SDSR, confident that it “has set our Armed Forces on a path towards a sustainable future”. Click here to read highlights of the speech on the MOD website.

British Forces News –Click here to visit the BFBS British Forces News website, which offers up to the minute coverage on Service issues. There is a video discussing the future of the Naval Service following the Strategic Defence and Security Review, as well as a TV interview with NFF Chair Kim Richardson.


For information on redundancies please click here visit our dedicated ‘Redundancy’ section.

Post SDSR: Changes to Allowances

Following the required cuts in budget set out by the Strategic Defence & Security Review, the Government has today announced changes to many Armed Forces allowances. Click here for a summary of the changes.

Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body Report

The Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body (AFPRB) has released its report (21 March 2011) which outlines changes to the pay of Armed Forces personnel for the next year. Changes will take effect from 1 April 2011.

  • In line with the Government’s 2010 Emergency Budget, which announced a two-year pay freeze for all public sector employees, the AFPRB basic salary recommendations are only for full-time personnel earning £21,000 or less (including the X-Factor) – where the recommendation is for an increase of £250.
  • The report recommends a number of targeted measures, including the restructuring and uplift of certain Specialist Pay categories, and the introduction of Financial Retention Incentives and Golden Hellos to retain personnel essential to delivering key operational capability.
  • The rate of Northern Ireland Residents’ Supplement has been increased and extended to cover Full Time Reserve Service and Northern Ireland based Reserve Forces personnel.
  • The Daily Food Charge will be increased to £4.25 per day
  • Some accommodation charges will be increased.

Visit the Defence Intranet for further detail – DIB: 2011DIB/22. Annexe A shows the revised rates of pay for personnel earning £21,000 or less.  Annex B provides examples of the effect the changes will have to those based in the UK and those deployed on operations. There is also a helpful Q&A document. Click here to read the full report on the BAFF website.

Defence Reform Review

A new vision for how the MOD will run and be managed has been outlined (June 2011). The independent report looks at changes to the structure and management of the MOD in order to optimise the delivery and sustainment of Defence capabilities. Click here to read more.

The New Employment Model (NEM)

In the SDSR, the Government made a commitment to develop a New Employment Model (NEM). The MOD has recognised that the current employment model for Service personnel has not changed much in the last 40 years and requires improving to better meet the needs of today’s modern Armed Forces. Search ‘New Employment Model’ on this site for updates.