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Armed Forces Pensions – Indexation & Revaluation

In January each year a formal announcement is made by the Government regarding the “Public service pension scheme indexation and revaluation”, which take effect from the following 1st April.  

The statement provides two figures: the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which is used to increase all Armed Forces pensions in payment and increases to deferred pensions (AFPS75/05/15); and the Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) figure which is applied to AFPS15 only to increase (revalue) previous years of accruals, whilst still serving.  For ease of reference this year’s announcement can be found here.

CPI.  Like other Public service pensions, Armed Forces pensions increase each year in line with the CPI, which will ensure that the pensions take account of increases in the cost of living and that their purchasing power is maintained. Public service pensions were increased from 1st April 2021 by 0.5%, in line with the annual increase in the CPI up to September 2020.  For military veterans the CPI increases come into payment at the ages shown in the table below, unless the veteran was medically discharged (in which case the increases are immediate) and are backdated to when an individual left the Armed Forces:

Age 55 for pensions in payment or 60/65 if deferredAge 55 for immediate pension or age 65 if pension is deferredAge 60 for immediate pension or State Pension Age (67/68) if deferred.

AWE. Separately and in addition, career average public service pension schemes in accrual, which includes AFPS15, are revalued annually. AWE is the lead monthly measure of average weekly earnings per employee and is calculated using information based on the Monthly Wages and Salaries Survey, which samples around 9,000 employers in Great Britain. It provides estimates of monthly and annual change for the main industrial sectors, and is used to increase (revalue) previous years of AFPS15 accruals, whilst still serving. The table below is an extrapolation of ONS data and shows the history of AWE adjustments since April 2016, which is the first date of increases affecting AFPS15, to the latest available:

Date of AWE IncreaseAmount by which existing accruals are to be increased
April 20162.0%
April 20172.6%
April 20183.0%
April 20192.8%
April 20204.0%
April 20212.4%

In preparing forward guidance, neither Veterans UK nor the Forces Pension Society assume any future increases in CPI or AWE, and the MOD online calculator is updated each year to include the latest AWE adjustments for those in service.

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