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Consultation Tag

We are delighted with the outcome of the immigration fee public consultation announced today.  The aim of the consultation was to invite interested parties to answer several questions concerning the policy on waiving fees for Non-UK Service Personnel who meet certain criteria when applying for settlement in the UK at the end of their service in the UK Armed Forces.

 

The has now been closed and the Government has issued their response.

 

Due to the significant and noticeable interest of the consultation – receiving over 6000 responses, the Government has decided to implement a fee waiver for the following personnel, providing they meet all other suitable requirements:

  • Non-UK Service Personnel who have served for at least six years at their point of discharge from service.
  • Non-UK Service Personnel who have been discharged due to an injury or illness attributable to service irrespective of how long they have served.
  • Non-UK veterans who are currently living in the UK and have not yet regularised their immigration status but meet either of the above criteria.

 

The waiver is dependent on legislation expected to take effect this spring.

 

Pete Hawley, the NFF immigration advisor, who contributed to the consultation said “It is fantastic to hear the news that the public consultation into the waiving of settlement fees for our non-UK personnel has concluded in favour of waiving the fees for those that have served six years, been medically discharged or veterans who have not yet regularised their stay. Many thanks to all the RN, RM personnel, and families that took part in the consultation process. This is a great example of how you can make your voice count. I now look forward to seeing this implemented later this spring and assisting our personnel with the application process.”

 

To read more about the consultation, please click  here.

 

 

Posted on: 23rd March 2021

MOD UPDATE (NOV 21)

23rd November 2021:

MOD will undertake a public consultation on the scheme-specific amendments that will be required to the Armed Forces Pension Scheme regulations to implement the McCloud prospective remedy.

The amendments will close all Armed Forces legacy pension schemes on 31 March 2022 and ensure that from 1 April 22 all serving personnel who were full protection members will transition to the AFPS 15 and begin to accrue benefits under that scheme from that date.

The amendments will also address some minor errors and omissions in pension scheme regulations.

This consultation closes at

MOD UPDATE (OCT 21)

28th October 2021 – MOD Armed Forces Remuneration Team:

”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.”

The government has 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. 

 

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.

 

The public service pensions consultation is the next stage in the process to remove the discrimination identified by the courts in the 2015 pension reforms. The changes proposed in the consultation to remove the discrimination will apply across all of the main public service pension schemes and provide members with a choice of which scheme benefits they would like to receive for the remedy period.

 

Scheme members who will be in scope are those who had service on or before 31 March 2012 and on or after 1 April 2015. This includes any pre-31 March 2012 re-joiners with a qualifying break in Service of less than 5 years. This includes those members who are currently serving and in-scope personnel who have left the service since 1 April 2015.  Members who were originally covered by the transitional protection will also be provided with a choice of which scheme benefits they would prefer to receive for the remedy period.

 

The remedy period is the time period for which members will be able to retrospectively choose which scheme benefits they will receive. It will run from 1 April 2015 which is when the reforms were introduced, until 31 March 2022 which is the point when treatment will be equalised going forward. This is because the government also proposes that, with effect from 1 April 2022, all those who continue in service will do so as members of the AFPS 15 irrespective of whether they previously had transitional protection or not.

 

The Government and the Ministry of Defence have issued communications on the consultation, the options and impacts on pension schemes. Service Personnel and families are recommended to read these communications which can be accessed through MODNET or directly on the Government’s website.

 

Posted on: 17th July, 2020
Updated on: 23rd November, 2021

 

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust has launched a new, open consultation to discover how those within, and working with, the Armed Forces community feel funding could be best used to support them. The consultation comes ahead of the re-launch of the Armed Forces Covenant: Local Grants programme, which has successfully supported hundreds of local projects over the last five years, strengthening the Armed Forces community both in terms of integration and delivery of local services.

 

By seeking valuable feedback as part of this eight-week consultation, the Trust will shape a new programme, based on the needs and priorities identified at a local level, and will use the evidence gathered to inform their overall priority for 2020 of Integration and Engagement.

 

Your views are vital

As well as which groups of people you feel are most in need of funding support, your views of grant size and how those grants are made are also welcomed. The consultation is live from 13 January until 6 March 2020. To take part, visit the Trust’s website where details can be found on their homepage.

 

Posted on: 15th January, 2020

 

In July 2019, the Naval, Army and RAF Families Federations took the opportunity to submit a joint response to the Department for Education’s call for evidence: ‘Provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and for those who need additional provision: how the financial arrangements work’.

 

The Naval Families Federation advocates on behalf of Royal Navy and Royal Marines families and we support the view that children’s education should not be disadvantaged by their parent’s Service.  In our submission we highlight some of the key issues and challenges that can arise for Armed Forces children who have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and suggested a number of recommendations, based on evidence gathered by the three Families Federations. The full report can be accessed here.

 

Posted on: 12th August, 2019