Top of the page

Forces Pension Society: What to do with your P45

Category: Tips and Advice

Forces Pension Society: What to do with your P45 In this short article Mary Petley of the Forces Pension Society explains why you will be receiving a P45 and what to do with it once you have got it.

The P45 is a four part form generated by the employer when an individual leaves a paid job. When you leave the Armed Forces one will be generated for you and sent to your address as it appears on JPA.

The P45 contains your name and National Insurance Number and information about your pay, your tax code and the tax you have paid up to your point of discharge. Part 1 is sent by the employer to HMRC. Part 1A is for your records and will help you with your first self-assessment tax return.

Part 2 and 3 are for your new employer. The information on the P45 will enable him or her to tax you correctly from the word ‘go’. In the absence of a P45, you will normally be taxed at a straight 20% with no personal allowance and, when you do hand it over, your tax position will be corrected in subsequent months.

If you have no job to go to but are looking for one, it is worth signing on at Job Centre Plus. Even though you may not qualify for benefits (because of your pension or EDP income), Job Centre Plus will keep your National Insurance Contribution (NIC) record up to date – which matters because your State Pension relies on the NICs you have paid. When you get a job, Job Centre Plus will update the P45 and give it back to you to pass to your new employer.

If you are not going to work, send it back to HMRC. You never know, you might get a tax rebate. If you are going to be self-employed, send it back to HMRC or shred it. Do not put it in the bin – it contains personal information about you which could be misused by others!

If you are a Forces Pension Society Member and have questions on this or any other pension issue, please contact us at If you are not a Member and would like to know more about us, visit

Mary Petley, Forces Pension Society