Members are advised that the AFPS 15 Remedy (McCloud) situation is continually moving whilst the policy is being developed, however here is the current sitrep.
Armed Forces personnel who were in service both on or before 31 March 2012 and on or after 1 April 2015 with any break in service of less than 5 years will have the option to elect whether they wish to receive legacy benefits or equivalent AFPS 15 benefits for the remedy period (1 April 2015 – 31 March 2022). On 1 April 2022 all serving personnel became members of AFPS15, and all legacy schemes closed on 31 March 2022.
The AFPS 15 Remedy (McCloud) for public sector pensions will be delivered in two stages: The prospective and retrospective remedy.
The prospective remedy saw all serving personnel move onto AFPS 15 on 1 April 2022. The retrospective remedy gives Service personnel an opportunity to choose, when they access their pension or Early Departure Payment (EDP), which pension benefits they wish to receive (legacy scheme, or the equivalent AFPS 15 benefits) for the remedy period.
Due to the complexities of the remedy, HM Treasury and Public Sector schemes are still working through outstanding policy and amending scheme legislation. Public Sector Pension Schemes require to complete this work, to implement the remedy, by 1 October 2023. Unfortunately, neither we nor Veterans UK are yet in a position to be able to provide “McCloud choice comparative figures”.
‘Immediate Choice’ cases
Eligible members who have left/will leave the Armed Forces between 1 April 2015 and 1 October 2023 with a pension in payment (including EDPs), and eligible dependants with a pension in payment in cases where a member has very sadly died, will be contacted by Veterans UK within 18 months starting from 1 October 2023. They will be provided with a Remediable Service Statement (RSS) detailing the remedy choices and requested to make their election choice. These cases will be known as ‘Immediate Choice’ (IC).
Eligible members leaving the Armed Forces before 1 October 2023, will do so on their current pension terms. Once IC members receive their election choices and have made their decision, their pension will be adjusted subsequently, if required, and retrospective payment action will be taken. In the meantime, we are asking all our members to “stand easy” until they receive their RSS from Veterans UK, as it is not until you have this that we will be able to provide individual guidance to help you make an informed decision.
‘Deferred Choice Underpin’ cases
Veterans UK are working to have systems in place to enable them to process members whose benefits become payable from 1 October 2023. These will be known as ‘Deferred Choice Underpin’ (DCU) cases. Members will be provided with a RSS detailing their remedy choice and asked to make an election before their pension benefits become payable. It is our understanding that RSS’ will start to be issued for DCU cases from summer 2023 for those leaving the Armed Forces in October 2023. Further details will follow but it is recognised that eligible members must be given sufficient time to allow them to make an informed decision.
Eligible members who have left/will leave the Armed Forces between 1 April 2015 and 1 October 2023 with deferred benefits (i.e. without entitlement to an immediate pension or EDP) will be provided by Veterans UK with a RSS within 18 months from 1 October 2023. This will detail their pension benefits for their legacy scheme and AFPS 15 for the remedy period. Thereafter, members with deferred benefits can request one RSS per year if they wish until such time as their pension benefits are payable.
Armed Forces Pension Calculator
Due to the complexity of the AFPS 15 Remedy (McCloud) and a number of cross-government issues that need to be finalised, the Armed Forces pension calculator is still under development and the release date is to be confirmed.
To implement the prospective remedy for McCloud (i.e. to move everyone to AFPS15 from April 2022) the MOD undertook a public consultation regarding the changes to the Armed Forces Pension Scheme (AFPS) regulations and the effect on members. This consultation began on 22 November 2021 and concluded on 31 January 2022. You can read our response to the public consultation here
The public consultation for the retrospective remedy started on 6 March and will run for 12 weeks, finishing on 29 May 2023. You can find the consultation document here. We are currently working through the document in accordance with the timeline to provide a full response to each of the questions, which we will publish once it has been submitted to the MoD.
We would also encourage members to engage individually as part of the public consultation process. In doing so, if you have any particular issues or points that you think might benefit from being emphasised in the FPS response, please email them to us via the members area on the website and we will give them full consideration.
We will of course, continue to refresh the Members area of our website with new reference information and guidance for our Members as it becomes available, including updating our AFPS 15 Remedy (McCloud) FAQs and timeline.
Meanwhile you can read our McCloud archive here
Updated 13 March 2023