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Money Tag

Did you know that spouses/civil partners who accompany their Service partner on an overseas assisgnment are unable to claim Maternity Allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) if they are not living in the UK?

 

However, you and your spouse/civil partner do have other options, depending on where you are posted to. You can either:

  • claim the local nation’s maternity benefits, if there is a reciprocal agreement in place  or
  • apply for a Ministry of Defence (MOD) ex-gratia payment in lieu of Maternity Allowance. This is the equivalent of Maternity Allowance to Service personnel whose spouses/civil partner accompany them overseas to countries where there is no reciprocal maternity arrangement and who would have otherwise been entitled to receive the Maternity Allowance had they remained in the UK.

The process is to apply for Maternity Allowance in the normal way, ensuring section 8 of the form, where it asks if you are a member of a Service family abroad, is completed. When completed, the form should be sent to the International Pension Centre (IPC) to the address stated on the form (in part 13). The IPC will look at the case and take the appropriate action.

 

There are certain deadlines for claiming maternity benefits from a local nation, so please ensure that you apply promptly and seek advice from the DWP IPC team if you are unsure of the process or time frames. Remember to tell them that you are part of an Armed Forces family.

 

We recommend that, before you complete the form, you might also wish to speak to your Unit Personnel Office and note the contents of:

  • Defence Instruction and Notice – 2018DIN01-026, MoD Ex-Gratia Payments in Lieu of Maternity Allowance (available via Dii only)
  • JSP 752, Chapter 9, Section 14
  • Armed Forces access to Jobcentre Plus services and Armed Forces Champions – Guidance

 

Posted on: 24th July, 2019

Following the collapse of Wonga, the payday lender who went into administration, Service personnel with Wonga loans are being offered a “payday payoff” loan facility from Plane Saver Credit Union.

This facility is offered to support serving personnel who are affected by Wonga’s collapse. Please visit this site to read their full terms and conditions.

 

Posted on: 1st October, 2018

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

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