Since 1946, the Forces Pension Society has provided a unique interface with Government on behalf of our Members (now numbering over 60,000) and the whole Armed Forces community.
We have always been and will remain driven by our objective of securing equitable pension conditions, in line with modern good practice, for all ranks of all three Services both serving and retired, and their families.
75 years ago, in the austere times following the Second World War, a campaigning group founded the Society. They achieved a great deal, sometimes campaigning openly, often behind the scenes. As a result, new codes of practice were introduced, widows’ pensions became an accepted benefit and were increased over time. Pressure from the Society continued over many years until the modern pension structure we recognise today was put in place.
Since then the Society has grown in stature and relevance. Today, we take our place at the top tables on the representative bodies for Armed Forces and Public Services Pensions. We are now better placed than ever before to represent the interests of our Members and the wider military community.
We act as a pension watchdog that’s run as an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation funded by the subscriptions of our Members. We campaign for appropriate pension provision. We campaign against injustices in the pension system – such as seeking the best remedy for unlawful rulings as in the so-called McCloud Case which is affecting literally tens of thousands of serving and retired military people. And we help Members secure the optimum benefits from their pension. As we say, “it pays to understand your pension”.
An essential part of this understanding includes recognising Armed Forces Pension entitlements are not fixed. There are numerous ways you can influence what you receive – ranging from knowing the best time to leave, through to the pros and cons of commutation, pension top-ups and so on. Our Members seek individual help from our Pensions Team over divorce, medical discharge, taxation, annual allowances and joining the Reserves. In this way, we help them achieve their full pension potential.
We invest any surplus funds in guiding and informing those serving through our free-to-attend Roadshows and webinars and we conduct other outreach activities to support those leaving the Armed Forces and veterans.
While the military environment will continue to evolve, some fundamentals won’t change. We at the Forces Pension Society will continue to highlight the centrality of Armed Forces pensions both as part of the “offer” and as a fundamental pillar for sustaining operational effectiveness. And as our membership numbers grow, so will our influence.
To us, our 75th anniversary is very special. It’s another landmark in our history as a force for good, helping to improve the livelihoods of those in the Armed Forces who need our guidance and support.