A trial is currently underway of the Regular Flexible Duties concept, designed to allow selected Regular Service personnel to use unpaid leave entitlements to serve for a reduced number of days per year, on a reduced level of
deployability, for a specified period.
The trial will test the ability of reduced commitment working to respond to Defence requirements, and to improve recruitment and retention by meeting the lifestyle demands of personnel.
A DIN was issued on the subject earlier this year. Our understanding of the subject is that any period when an individual is not paid is not pensionable, therefore if someone works for just nine months in a given year then they effectively have a three month career-break in that year that is not considered pensionable or reckonable. Therefore when they get to what would have been their IPP or EDP trigger, they will fall short (in this example by three months) and will have to make that time up.
If the trial is successful, it is not unreasonable to expect to encounter service personnel in the future with considerable (but ‘aggregated’) career breaks to be taken into account when considering their pension position. As this is a new concept we would be delighted to hear from anyone on the trial – especially concerning any issues surrounding their pension.