During your service in the Armed Forces you have been building up a pension entitlement in one or more Armed Forces Pension Schemes.
You will also have been paying National Insurance Contributions (NICs) which count towards your State Pension. Some of you will decide to live abroad once you leave the Armed Forces so, in this article, written for the July issue of Pathfinder Magazine, we explore the pension-related issues you need to consider.
Armed Forces pensions are claimed and paid in the same way no matter where you live. You claim by submitting an AFPS Form 8 about three months before your pension is due to begin and, even though you may be far too young to claim at the moment, remember you can keep an eye on your pension by requesting your annual free pension forecast by submitting an AFPS Form 14. Once your pension is in payment, you will receive a Life Certificate every two years. It is important that you deal with this piece of personal admin straight away because, if the form is not returned in accordance with the instructions it contains, it will be assumed that you have died and your pension will stop!
We are sometimes asked whether preserved/deferred benefits (so pensions not yet in payment) can be transferred to overseas pension schemes. The answer is ‘no’ – since 6 April 2015 it has only been possible to transfer a public sector pension to another UK Defined Benefit scheme. TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE TURN TO PAGE 6 HERE