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Resettlement Guides

HOUSING

When leaving the military one of the most important things to organise is where to live. Whether you have lived in Service accommodation and are now looking to rent or buy a property to live in, or whether you already own your own property, but may be considering relocating to a new area, this guide will provide an overview of useful information, articles and links.

Housing Briefs

Each year, the Joint Services Housing Advice Office (JSHAO) delivers a programme of housing briefs at various military locations across the UK and overseas. They provide information and guidance on the various civilian housing options for Service personnel at any point in their career and for those leaving the military and currently resident in Service accommodation. JSHAO can also signpost the single veteran to the help offered by the Single Persons Accommodation Centre for Ex-Services (SPACES).

For those registered for resettlement, attendance is treated as duty (so allowances may apply). The housing briefs are “All Ranks” and spouses are welcome to attend, as is anyone from within the military Service and welfare communities for the provision of support to the Service person.

In order to book a place, refer to the programme available on JSHAO’s gov.uk webpage which will direct you to the current annual programme, containing a list of all briefing locations and relevant contact details. If you're unable to attend a Housing Brief, the department would be happy to deliver the brief using Skype - if you'd like to arrange this, please click this link to send the team an email.

The Joint Service Housing Office is now available on Defence Connect, which is a new MOD wide application, allowing all staff/service personnel to connect with each other, interact, share their work and collaborate over matters. The platform is used to socialise in common interest groups, usually based around communications, collaboration or both.

Hosted on the Defence Gateway, inheriting its impressive system reach, usability and GSC accreditation (OFFICAL) DC can now be used by business communities from across the services, to benefit their internal communication and information sharing business needs.

Useful Leaflets & Information

JSHAO have produced a series of useful leaflets which can be found on JSHAO’s gov.uk webpage. There are a total of 29 handouts covering topics such as Forces Help to Buy; House Purchase; Private Rental; Affordable Home Ownership Schemes; Social Housing and the MOD Referral Scheme; Understanding Council Tax; Removals; Local Authorities (by Region), and SPACES.

A quarterly magazine is produced, Housing Matters, which can be found in various locations such as your admin office, welfare, HIVE and back issues are also available on the Direct Gov website. Click here to view the latest version.

For further details and information you can contact the JSHAO via email by clicking here. or by telephone on 07814 612120 The team are located at HQ Regional Command, Aldershot, Hampshire. For the latest Housing Brief dates, please click here.

Try finding your local council to connect with, using these links: Click here to view the Gov.uk pages on local councils Click here to check out the Council A-Z

Housing Abroad

Many people consider moving abroad to settle when they leave the military. Opportunities vary depending on location selected. It is worth searching for emigration exhibitions and information events that are run in the UK to find out more and learn about the process and meet different providers.

Anyone thinking of relocating out with the UK is recommended to carry out extensive research into the range of employment, housing, education and leisure opportunities available in their preferred location.

You are also advised to research options for visas via the relevant country embassy/consulate website and proceed accordingly. A number of relocation agents will provide assistance with the relocation process, try googling relocation agents in the country you are emigrating to, they can advise on removals, packing and storage for instance.

HEALTH

When you leave military services you become responsible for registering for your own and your families health care support through local GPs, and dentist.

Dentist – Where do you start on the area and considerations to be made when selecting one? Do you take out dental Insurance? This is up to you, follow the links below explore, register and what charges to expect there could be

Doctor - You never know when you or a member of your family will become ill or need advice so you should always be registered with a family doctor so that they have access to your medical records and know about any previous treatment you may have had.

NHS and private care options are available throughout the UK and you should thoroughly research local provision in the area you are settling in.

For information on NHS organisations, out of hours care and private health care options, the web links below are most useful.

Useful Links - Click to open

NHS Service Search NHS England NHS Wales NHS Scotland

HSC Northern Ireland HSE Ireland Private Healthcare

If you are moving abroad you may wish to start here and view information about healthcare abroad.

If you're feeling unwell you can visit the NHS Conditions website for common problems, or call the NHS free-of-charge on '111' for a phone consultation.

Additional support for Mental health & Wellbeing links - click to open

Togetherall Depression Alliance Mental Health Foundation

Confidential Emotional Support - Supportline TILS

Samaritans Alcoholics Anonymous Talk To Frank

Stress Management Society


PENSION & FINANCE

Armed Forces Pensions

Armed Forces pensions, once awarded, are adjusted in April each year by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI rate used is the CPI headline rate for the September prior to the April adjustment the following year. This rate is formally announced in October. The CPI increase which will come into force next April has been announced as 0.5%.

This increase, known as the Pension Increase (PI), does not come into force on the 1st April but rather on the first Monday after the beginning of the new tax year – so, for 2021, it comes into force on 12th April.

There is a Government produced table which divides the year (1 April – 31 March) into 13 parts and the first PI is proportionate. The pensions of those leaving in the first few weeks of April will get the full PI in the following April. The increases for those leaving after the first few weeks April are then paid in the following April on a sliding scale, culminating in those leaving in the final few weeks of March getting no PI adjustment at all in respect of that first year. The full increase is paid in subsequent years.

If you are leaving with a preserved AFPS 75 or AFPS 05 pension, or a deferred AFPS 15 pension, it will be increased until such time as your draw your benefits to take account of all the PIs that have occurred since you left.

If you are a member of the Forces Pension Society and would like to know more about PIs or any other pension issue, email us by clicking here. If you would like to learn more about us, visit our website by clicking here.

Armed Forces Redundancy Schemes

The redundancy scheme that applies will depend on when you joined the Armed Forces. Refer to the external links section below for more detail.

War Widow's or War Widower's pension

If your husband, wife or civil partner died as a result of serving in the Armed Forces, you may get a War Widow’s or War Widower's pension. This is based on your husband, wife or civil partner's pay.

For more information, contact Veterans UK by clicking here.

If you have health problems because of being in the Armed Forces, you may be entitled to payments under the war pension scheme or the Armed Forces compensation scheme (AFCS).

Useful Organisations

More detailed support is available for members of the Forces Pension Society.

"We are the trusted source for Armed Forces Pensions advice, and as an independent, not-for-profit organisation, we act as a pension watchdog for the entire military community. We provide accurate, timely and credible technical pension advice and other services to our Members; we represent the whole Armed Forces Community at the top tables of government in relation to Armed Forces Pensions, holding to account when necessary; and we raise awareness across the Armed Forces Community on the complexities and benefits of their Armed Forces Pension"

Financial Aspects of Resettlement (FAR) Briefs

Pensions are discussed in the Financial Aspects of Resettlement (FAR) Briefs.

State Pensions

The Basic State Pension is the main component of the State Pension. This may be based on your own or your spouse’s National Insurance record. Links to the government websites can be found below.

For further information about spouses and civil partners' pensions calculations, please see the ‘Access to contributory state benefits for spouses and civil partners of members of the armed forces’ document.

Visit the Government website for in-depth information on Working, Jobs, Pensions and Benefits. You may also like to view their dedicated Pensions Regulator website.

If you're moving overseas, it is worth checking in with the country of origin for any impact on your pension.
Click here to view the Gov.uk guide to claiming your pension abroad.

What to do with your P45

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.

The information on the P45 will enable your new employer to tax you. In the absence of a P45, you will normally be taxed at a straight 20% with no personal allowance. Once you hand over the form, 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. When you then 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. If you are going to be self-employed, send it back to HMRC or shred it.

Financial advice for ex-Armed Forces Personnel

Finance is one of the most important aspects of your transition into a new life outside of the Armed Forces. The word Finance itself covers everything to do with money and its use including savings, investments, budgeting, debt control and management. This guide aims to help put you in the driving seat with your finances by providing you with links to independent financial information bodies and Government information sites where you will find information, guidelines and tools to help you plan your financial future. To help you navigate the information listed here there are 4 separate headings which are, Day to Day Budgeting, Long Term Financial Planning, Savings and Investments and the Financial Aspects of Resettlement (FAR) Briefing.

When thinking about the following, spend some time to reflect on your Financial Planning

Day to Day Budgeting

Understanding the importance of budgeting is extremely important if you want to successfully plan your finances. It's the only way to gain, and stay, in control of your money. Preparing your personal budget will allow you to see how much money you have coming in and where it goes.

Long Term Financial Planning

Financial planning makes sense at any stage of life, making it easy to forecast and plan your investment decisions and maximise your income. A formal financial plan can include a list of savings and growth accounts, project interest rates over a specific period of time, and also identify asset insurance you may need. Goal setting may include retirement planning and setting up specific strategies to achieve each goal.

Savings and Investments

This is a complicated area of finance and decisions which may be right for one person will not necessarily be right for another. You will need to think about what is best for your own personal needs, situation and goals. It is always advisable to seek advice from more than one independent financial adviser.

The Financial Aspects of Resettlement (FAR) Briefing

The Financial Aspects of Resettlement Briefing is run by the Forces Pension Society and usually lasts all day. There is normally an input of generic financial advice from a qualified Financial Advisor (and the option of a follow-up personal financial discussion) as well as a handout giving further points of contact. Attendance at these events is treated as duty if you are currently registered for Resettlement (so Allowances may apply). They can be attended at any point in a Service person's career, although priority is given to Service leavers with 9 months or less to discharge. Briefings are tailored, where numbers permit, to different rank groups, and spouses are welcome to attend.

BENEFITS

State Benefits for Ex-Armed Forces Personnel

This topic will help you find out more about State Benefits, including:

  • What benefits exist
  • Eligibility
  • Benefits for those being medically discharged
  • Where to find further information and advice
  • Some frequently asked questions on the topic
You will also find details on some additional benefits and discount schemes for service and ex-service personnel.

There are a range of benefits covering many areas such as Housing, Welfare and Disability, and these benefits are managed through organisations such as the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP), HM Revenue & Customs, and local authorities.

If you are out of work, or in work and on a low income, there may be benefits available to help and support you.

New Style Jobseeker's Allowance

If you are unemployed or work less than 16 hours a week you may be able to get New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (New Style JSA).

New Style JSA is a fortnightly payment that can be claimed on its own or at the same time as Universal Credit.

New Style JSA is a contributory benefit. Normally, this means you may be able to get it if you have paid and/or been credited with enough National Insurance contributions in the 2 full tax years before the year you are claiming in. Any New Style JSA you receive will be taken into account as income for Universal Credit purposes.

Further information and how to claim New Style JSA is available at www.gov.uk.

Universal Credit

If you are making a new benefit claim, most people will now claim Universal Credit.

Universal Credit is replacing the following benefits:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Working Tax Credit

If you currently get any of these benefits, you do not need to do anything unless:

  • You have a change of circumstances you need to report
  • The DWP contacts you about moving to Universal Credit

Further information and how to claim Universal Credit is available at www.gov.uk.

Citizens Advice Help to Claim service

Citizens Advice (England and Wales) and Citizens Advice Scotland are delivering a ‘Help to Claim’ service for claimants making a new Universal Credit claim, or moving from a legacy benefit (e.g. Jobseeker’s Allowance) to Universal Credit because of a change of circumstances.

The Citizens Advice Help to Claim service offers tailored, practical support to help people make a Universal Credit claim from before they apply, through to receiving their first full correct payment on time.

Access Help to Claim for England and Wales or for Scotland.

Citizens Advice also provide guidance on the full range of benefits through their regional offices, telephone helpline 03444 111 444, and the online information service.

For those in Scotland, the Armed Services Advice Project (ASAP), which is operated by Citizens Advice, can provide advice and guidance on benefits. The telephone number is 0808 800 1007

Jobcentre Plus services for the Armed Forces and their families 0800 055 6688 Text: 0800 023 4888

This publication explains the role of the Armed Forces champion and the improvements to the way members of the Armed Forces and their families access Jobcentre Plus services.

Advice on claiming benefits can be obtained from a number of sources, for example: www.gov.uk

This Government website provides a wealth of information on the full range of benefits that can be claimed, and has links and contact details for further advice or to apply. Gov.uk also has online independent benefits calculators which can provide information on the benefits you may be entitled to claim. You will need to enter some details on your personal circumstances in order to get an accurate assessment of benefits you may be entitled to.

View information on most DWP benefits here

Alternative contact details for Jobcentre Plus
NGT text relay: 18001 then 0800 055 6688 Welsh language: 0800 012 1888

Veterans' Gateway 0808 802 1212

Various Service charities offer serving and ex service personnel advice on a range of state benefits and concessions. The Veterans’ Gateway provides a single point of contact for veterans seeking advice and support.

Veterans UK 0808 1914 2 18

Veterans UK manage the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme for anyone who has suffered illness, injury or death as a result of Service from 6 April 2005. Veterans UK also provide a full range of transition support for Service leavers and their families through the Defence Transition Services.
Support on all the areas above can be found through the Veterans UK website.

RESOURCES

JSHAO Housing Flyer What is the JSHAO? JSHAO Housing e-learning module Steps to buying a home in the UK

Veterans Housing advice flyer Glossary of useful terms Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2015 How pension increase (PIs) Work by the FPS

Your state pension entitlement - Explained Your compensation scheme - Explained Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2005

Armed Forces Pension Scheme 1975 McCloud Case Outcome & Update Access to contributory state benefits for spouses & civil partners of the Armed Forces