In yet another significant campaigning triumph the Society has successfully argued the case for reinstating the “Short-Term Family Pension”.
The Short-Term Family Pension is a special payment made immediately following bereavement under the 1975 scheme – the widow or widower or civil partner will continue to receive pensionable pay (or full pension, if in payment) for three or six months following the death of the scheme member. This has always been seen as a way of providing short-term financial support at a very difficult time.
Suddenly, at the time of the introduction of the new pension scheme in 2015, with no announcement and no justification, this payment was withdrawn from those who had to move to the 2015 scheme, breaking the assurance that features of the previous schemes would be retained. The Forces Pension Society saw what had happened and challenged the matter behind the scenes. As a result the change has been withdrawn and these payments will be made as before to dependents of everyone who dies having been on the 1975 scheme.
General Secretary John Pitt-Brooke says “This is yet another extraordinary success story for the Forces Pension Society. The decision to remove the STFP was unjust and unfair, but it is the kind of thing that only those with a deep understanding of these payments will have noticed. That is where we came in – we saw what had happened, put pressure on the Ministry of Defence who have taken it up on our behalf. The result is that this payment will once again be part of the package paid to dependents, now and into the future – thousands of people will benefit from it. Coming on top of the recent decision to adjust Representative Rates of Pay following our pressure, this shows just how influential and effective the Society is in putting right injustice and intervening where members of the Armed forces are being short changed..”
Note: this will affect everyone with 1975 scheme entitlements who moved to the 2015 scheme – anyone who remained on the 75 scheme or had already left the service before that date retained their right to the STFP and this will not change,