Changes to the armed forces pension schemes
Existing members of the Armed Forces Pension Schemes 1975 and 2005, Full Time Reserve Service 1997 Pension Scheme, Non-Regular Permanent Staff, and Reserve Forces Pension Scheme 2005 will be automatically transferred into a new scheme called Armed Forces Pension Scheme 15 on 1 April 2015. The new scheme will have a normal pension age (NPA) of 60.
The only exceptions will be 7,500 officers and 7,000 people in other ranks who were within 10 years of their NPA on 1 April 2012. The NPA for regulars and full commitment reservists is 55, so this means anyone who was 45 or older on 1 April last year will be exempt from switching to the new scheme and their benefits will be completely unaffected by the changes. All other reservists have an NPA of 60, so will be transferred to the new scheme unless they were aged 50 or more on 1 April last year.
Some reservists who are not members of an armed forces pension scheme will be given the option of joining the new scheme from 1 April 2015. Paid service, including Man Training Days, will count as pensionable pay and can contribute to the reservist's pension.
Alternatively, a reservist can opt for the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to pay its employer contributions into the occupational pension scheme run by the reservist's main employer. Members don't make a contribution to their pension scheme, so won't suffer any increases.
The MOD calculates the average service person with nine years' service will be no worse off under the new scheme. Junior service personnel will be slightly better off while more senior service personnel will be slightly worse off. The MOD website includes an online pensions calculator that provides an accurate forecast of an individual's accrued rights and benefits in the new scheme at mod-abc.co.uk.
Alternatively, pension forecast request forms are available from the Service Personnel & Veterans Agency at veterans-uk.info/pensions/forecastrequests.html