The Short Term Family Pension (STFP) is a payment made to spouses of those who were on the AFPS75 scheme and who have died. The payment remains unchanged for those who stayed on the AFPS75 scheme, but not for those compulsorily transferred across to AFPS15 and died after 1 April15
Widows (or widowers/civil partners) of those who had been on the 75 scheme were paid a Short Term Family Pension of three months pension (if there were no dependent children) or six months (if there were dependent children) before going on to the normal dependant’s pension. This applied to the widows of retired and of serving members too (except in their case it is pensionable pay as opposed to pension). It was seen as a way of providing a maintained level of income at a very difficult time, and easing the transition between receiving full pension/pay and moving onto the widows pension. It was not a massive amount of money in any individual case, but was well worth having – typical values would be in the order of £2-3K. This was also a strong signal of how the scheme cared for people in this position.
This arrangement had been in place since the introduction of the 75 scheme and was part and parcel of the entitlements of that scheme: many widows have benefited from it. On 1 April15 STFP suddenly became no longer payable to dependants of those compulsorily moved across onto the AFPS15 scheme. Instead widows in this position now go straight onto their widow’s benefit. So without any notice or consultation, a significant feature of the pre-existing arrangements of the 75 scheme was jettisoned – in spite of numerous assurances that the accrued rights of those on the 75 scheme would be protected. The Society has been concerned about this change for a while, because:
- It will give widows less at a very difficult time
- It breaks the promise that the benefits accrued in legacy schemes would be protected and continued beyond 1 April15
- There was, to our knowledge no consultation about this
We still await a full reply from MOD addressing our concerns; however it would add considerable weight to our argument if we could identify anyone who has been directly affected by it. If you have been or know of someone else who has been affected by this rule change, then please let us know.