This section provides an overview of sources of information for both military and state pensions. Review the documentation, the library articles and the links to government and authoritative websites to find the expert advice you need.
Ex-Service Personnel Pensions Guide
Armed Forces Pensions
There are now three Armed Forces pension schemes for members of the Regular Armed Forces and the one which applies to you depends upon your age, length of service and the decisions you have made during your career.
The first was introduced in 1975 and was closed to new entrants from 6 April 2005. This is known as AFPS 75. On 6 April 2005 two new schemes were introduced, the AFPS 2005 for new entrants to the Regular Armed Forces, and the Reserve Forces Pension Scheme (RFPS) for members of the Full Time Reserve Service (FTRS), which includes those on Additional Duties Commitments. Members of AFPS 75 were given the opportunity to transfer to AFPS 05 and RFPS (depending upon whether they were Regulars or FTRS personnel) on 6 April 2006.
From 1 April 2015 AFPS 05 was closed to new entrants and all APFS 75, AFPS 05 and RFPS members who were under the age of 48 on that date were transferred to AFPS 15. These individuals have protected rights in their ‘old’ scheme and are building up rights in AFPS 15. All new entrants from 1 April 2015 will be AFPS 15 members unless they opt out.
From 1 April 2015 service with the Part Time Volunteer Reserve (PTVR) became pensionable too - the added bonus for everybody is that an AFPS 15 member leaving the Regulars and, within 5 years, joining the PTVR or the FTRS is considered to be in continuous service and their AFPS 15 pension continues to build up without them re-qualifying for benefits.
It is important that everyone should have a basic knowledge of their pensions position, the scheme or schemes that apply to them and what that means in terms of the timing and scale of pensions payments they will receive. There are booklets available to explain each of the schemes. If you are being medically discharged, please see the Ill Health Benefits section of the MOD Website. If you are a member of the Forces Pension Society, they have a range of leaflets which cover membership of each scheme and the benefits payable to those who are entitled to benefits from more than one scheme. If you are not a member, but would like to learn more about the Society, visit www.forcespensionsociety.org.
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 the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency.
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).
More detailed support is available for members of the Forces Pension Society.
"We are a very special not-for-profit organisation. Pensions are our business, and we know more about the Armed Forces Pension schemes than any other provider of independent advice. Because of that we are able to help our Members with their queries about the pensions they receive and the pensions they are likely to receive in the future. The Society is told time and time again that it understands the pension world like no one else, and that the advice it gives is unique – clear, accurate, and confidential."Click here to read a letter from John Pitt-Brooke, General Secretary, on the Society's 70th birthday.
Financial Aspects of Resettlement (FAR) Briefs
Pensions are discussed in the Financial Aspects of Resettlement (FAR) Briefs. Find the next available date for this briefing and plan to attend.
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 in the External links section below under State Pensions.
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.