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Ready for some Myth Busting?

Our team often hear myths and rumours circulating, so we thought this week would be the perfect opportunity to share (and maybe dispel) some of them for you.

I have been told that on promotion, now I have moved to AFPS 15, I no longer require two years in the rank to qualify for a pension based on the higher rank for my 75 Scheme benefits.

LET US EXPLAIN: If you were previously a member of AFPS 75 before moving to AFPS 15 you will still require 2 years in the higher rank to see your 75 Scheme benefits fully uplifted. It is the rank on discharge that is used in the calculation of the 75 Scheme pension benefits despite transferring to AFPS 15. The AFPS 15 accrues pension benefit based on your pensionable earnings each year and so rank is irrelevant in the accrual of the 15 Scheme benefits.

I am divorcing and I have been told that I will have to give up 50% of my pension to my ex-spouse.

LET US EXPLAIN: If you are divorcing and there is likely to be a pension sharing order (PSO) you should not assume that you will be required to give up 50% of your benefits.  Armed Forces pensions are very complex especially when it comes to divorce.  You should consider using the services of an actuary who can calculate a fair share and this may be considerably lower than 50%.

I am being medically discharged and have heard that any pension I receive will be tax-free.

This is not necessarily the case. If the cause of your medical condition is assessed as attributable to service, your Service Invaliding Pension (SIP) becomes tax-free. It is worth noting that the decision on attributability can take up to six months after discharge to be made and it is likely that your SIP will be taxed for that period in any case.

I am a SNCO and member of the AFPS 75 and the AFPS 15, and have now reach my 20/40 Early Departure Payment (EDP) point. I think I can now leave with my AFPS 75 pension in payment because of the McCloud judgement, and I don’t need to complete 22 years of service.

This is not correct. You will need to meet the qualifying criteria for both pension schemes in order to qualify for immediate benefits at the point of discharge. For the AFPS 75 as a non-commissioned rank, this is 22 years of reckonable service from the age of 18.

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