The situation is now clearer regarding the implementation of the 2015 Remedy (McCloud). 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 scheme 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. If you’re still not sure of your eligibility for the Remedy you can use this simple flow diagram to check. The remedy will start to be implemented from 1 October 2023.
Remediable Service Statements
Eligible personnel will all receive a Remediable Service Statement (RSS) from Veterans UK by 1 April 2025. Each RSS will be tailored to individual circumstances and will outline the value of the member’s legacy and AFPS 15 scheme benefits that were accrued during the remedy period. The RSS that you receive will be either for information purposes only, or it will require you to make an election. We understand that all RSS’ will make it very clear if yours is an information only RSS or an election RSS.
After the first RSS is issued, eligible serving personnel will receive one RSS per year. Those who have left/will leave the Armed Forces with a deferred pension that is not yet in payment, may also request an annual RSS for free by contacting Veterans UK.
‘Immediate Choice’ Eligible personnel who left the Armed Forces between 1 April 2015 and 30 September 2023 with a pension in payment (including Early Departure Payments (EDPs)), and eligible dependants with a pension in payment in cases where a member has died, are in the ‘Immediate Choice’ (IC) cohort.
Eligible personnel who left the Armed Forces before 1 October 2023 will do so on their current pension terms and their benefits will continue to be paid on the current basis until such time as they submit their election choice. Once IC personnel receive their RSS, they will have 12 months to submit their election from the issue date of the document. Once personnel have made an election, their pension will be subject to retrospective adjustment if they have chosen to receive alternative benefits (i.e. they may have an underpayment or overpayment of benefits which will be paid or recovered).
‘Deferred Choice’ ‘Deferred Choice’ refers to personnel who will require to make their election choice at the point their pension benefits, including EDPs, are due to come into payment. On 1 October 2023, personnel who are in-scope were ‘rolled back’ to their relevant legacy scheme for their service in the remedy period. They will then be able to choose between their relevant legacy scheme benefits and those that would have been offered by AFPS 15 for their service in the remedy period:
- Personnel leaving the Armed Forces within 9 months of 1 October 2023 (known as ‘imminent leavers’) with entitlement to immediate benefits will be sent a RSS as soon as practicable after 18 September 2023. They will have 6 months to make their election. However, if they are unable to make an election prior to their final day in service, legacy scheme benefits will be paid pending their election. If they subsequently elect to receive AFPS 15 benefits for the remedy period, they will be applied retrospectively and, where necessary, the pension/EDP will be subject to adjustment.
- Eligible personnel who retire from the Armed Forces from 1 July 2024 with entitlement to immediate benefits will be provided with a RSS before they leave and will have 6 months to make their election.
- Eligible personnel who have left/will leave the Armed Forces with deferred benefits (i.e. without entitlement to an immediate pension or EDP) will receive an initial RSS from Veterans UK by 1 April 2025. This initial RSS will be for information purposes only and will not facilitate an election choice unless/until their deferred benefits are due to come into payment. Thereafter, personnel with deferred benefits can request one RSS per year, if they wish, from Veterans UK until such time as their pension benefits are payable, at which point they will be sent an election RSS and be requested to make their election choice.
Election RSS. If you are member of the Forces Pension Society, once you receive your election RSS, if you would like guidance to help you make an informed decision regarding your remedy choices, please send your RSS to us using the ‘RSS Explanation’ webform which you can access via ‘Submit a Question’ in the Members area of our website. Please ensure that you are logged into the Members area before you click on the link. Once you have accessed the webform please follow the instructions and provide the information requested. When we receive the webform we will provide an explanation of the RSS as quickly as we can to help you make an informed decision.
Default Position. For personnel who do not submit an election by the end of their specified ‘election period’, the ‘default’ position is that they will receive legacy scheme benefits based on that being the rollback position. In all cases, once an election is made or the election period ends, the choice/default position is irrevocable.
Armed Forces Pension Calculator. The enhanced Armed Forces Pension calculator is now live, and will provide serving personnel with an illustration of their pension entitlement, and for those who are in-scope for the AFPS 15 Remedy, a side-by-side comparison of their reformed (AFPS 15) and legacy scheme benefits. The calculator also includes several business-as-usual enhancements therefore expanding the scope to incorporate previously excluded personnel, meaning more personnel will be able to gain an indication of their pension benefits. You can access the calculator here.
Public Consultations. 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.
The public consultation for the retrospective remedy started on 6 March and closed on 29 May 2023.
The MOD has released an AFPS15 Remedy Exlained booklet which you can read here, and we will of course, continue to refresh the Members area of our website with new reference information and guidance for Society Members as it becomes available, including updating our AFPS 15 Remedy (McCloud) FAQs
Meanwhile you can read our McCloud archive here
Updated October 2023