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Pensions

About the
Schemes

Understand the different pension schemes
and find out what type of pension you have.

Which type of pension do I have?

People who left the Forces before 6th April 2005 are part of the AFPS 75 scheme – originally the Armed Forces Pension Scheme, it was renamed AFPS 75 after the AFPS 05 was introduced.

After 5th April 2005 new Regulars and Reservists joining Full Time Reserve Service joined the AFPS 05 scheme. All Regular Servicemen and women who joined active service before 6th April 2005 and were still serving by 6th April 2006 could choose to remain on AFPS 75 or transfer to AFPS 05.

On 1st April 2015 the Armed Forces introduced their CARE scheme (AFPS 15) for every form of paid service – Regular or Reserve. Servicemen and women who were members of AFPS 75 or AFPS 05 and under a certain age (45 for Regulars and 50 for Reservists) on 1st April 2012 had to move across to the new scheme. All pension earned up to 31st March 2015 in a legacy scheme became an accrued pension right that can’t be taken away.

The pension schemes

If you’re currently serving in the Armed Forces, there are four pension schemes you could have rights to:

AFPS 75 (Regulars only – entry closed on 05/04/2005)

AFPS 05 (Regulars only – entry closed on 31/03/2015)

RFPS 05 (Full Time Reservists only – entry closed on 31/03/2015)

AFPS 15 (All Regulars and All Reservists)

Full Time Reservists also had a separate pension scheme (FTRS 97) open to them between April 1997 and April 2006. This scheme was based on the AFPS 75 principles.

The current AFPS 15 pension scheme is a career average revalued earnings (CARE) scheme. This is a type of defined benefit pension scheme offered by employers.

The benefits at retirement are based on your earnings and length of membership of the scheme.

All other schemes are based on the final salary concept (AFPS 05 and RFPS 05) or a modified ‘representative salary’ version (AFPS 75).

AFPS 75

Regulars only – entry closed on 05/04/2005

A minimum of two years’ service is needed in the scheme in order to be entitled to any pension. Commissioned Officers can leave with immediate pension award entitlements after 16 years of service. Non-commissioned individuals can leave with immediate pension award entitlements after 22 years of service.

AFPS 05

Regulars only – entry closed on 31/03/2015

A minimum of two years’ service is needed in the scheme in order to be entitled to any pension. The same rules apply to all Regular serving personnel.

No immediate pension payable to leavers under the age of 55. There is an early departure payment income stream and lump sum payable to leavers aged between 40 and 55 if they’ve completed 18 years’ service.

RFPS 05

Full Time Reservists only – entry closed on 31/03/2015

Only one days’ service is needed to be entitled to this pension. The same rules apply to all Full Time Reserve serving personnel. No immediate pension is payable to leavers under the age of 60. There are no early departure payment awards. All short periods of service are payable at the age of 60 if personnel leave full time Reserve service at that age.

AFPS 15

All Regulars and All Reservists

A minimum of two years’ service are needed in the scheme in order to be entitled to any pension. The same rules apply for all Regular and Reserve personnel.

No immediate pension is payable to leavers under the age of 60. There is an early departure payment income stream and lump sum payable to Regular leavers only, aged between 40 and 60 if they’ve completed 20 years’ service.

Membership

Expert pension guidance
& much more for just £41*

With FPS membership you get…

Access to expert
pension guidance

Helping you navigate through the pension maze empowering you to make better informed decisions.

Big savings with
our exclusive
Member offers

Including health, travel, motoring, home, personal and legal and financial offers from our affiliates.

Free copies of
Pennant Magazine

You’ll also receive our biannual exclusive magazine, Pennant, and our bimonthly e-newsletters.

*Annual membership includes spouses.partners as Joint Members.
See Membership Rules and Rates for full details.

What our members say

“I do enjoy the newsletters and the bi-annual magazines, the amount of work that goes into producing them is very evident.”

FPS Member – August 2021

“I’ve been inundated with nothing but positive feed back “

“Many thanks for your outstanding brief, I’ve been inundated with nothing but positive feed back with people learning a lot and actioning things off the back of it. “

RSM at the Defence SERE – Roadshow

“I was presented with a thorough and comprehensive breakdown of my entitlement”

“I can’t stress how grateful I am for getting definitive and detailed answers to my pension queries. It has been a minefield in the years leading up to my discharge trying to decipher the various booklets, and which information in them relates to my situation. I also enjoy the fact that you get to speak to someone who has “been there and done that”, or has at least dealt with a similar situation in the past. I was presented with a thorough and comprehensive breakdown of my entitlement. Thank you Forces Pension Society.”

Member

“Very many thanks for providing such a service.”

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the wealth of information that you have just provided through your webinar this afternoon. It was very much welcomed. I look forward to joining the Forces Pension Society in the very near future and have no doubt, after serving 33 year’s service thus far, that this will prove invaluable as I enter my final two years of service. Very many thanks for providing such a service.

Roadshow

“Many thanks for allowing me to connect “

“Many thanks for allowing me to connect to the last Webinar. I found this a fascinating update on all the complex issues pertaining to service pensions and left me much better informed to engage with Veterans UK once my AFPS 12 returns.”

Member

“Joining is by far one of the best moves I have made”

“I would like to pass on my sincere thanks to the FPS, but primarily to Alisa Lakeman-Ford. throughout the last year, she has been absolutely superb in providing me the most excellent feedback on my pension enquiries. I have to say, joining the FPS, and seeing such in-depth, detailed, pension forecasts produced by Alisa, is by far one of the best moves I have made in my 32 year career. The patience, professionalism, knowledge and willingness to help was nothing short of outstanding. Thank you all, and sincere thanks to Alisa. “

Member

“We would be stuck without you!”

“I would like to offer my sincere thanks to Terry and Wendy for all the help and assistance you have given me over the past few years. My circumstances were “not typical”, but you will be pleased to learn that all my fears were unfounded and everything has materialised as it should have. I am now in receipt of my lump sum and regular pension, including the extra I had put in from my years with another employer. Thank you to FPS as a whole for all the help and guidance you give to members of the Armed Forces. We would be stuck without you! All the very best to you all and I hope you are all managing well in these current difficult times.

Member

“Mind blowing!”

“I became a member 9 months after my father’s death as I have been handling the widow’s pension on behalf of my mother. The journey was an absolute nightmare. 13 months on and we are still not out of the woods, however, your team, especially Colin Thomas have been pivotal in progressing our case. I cannot think of another organisation that charges a nominal yearly fee for the time, compassion, empathy and sheer determination in making things happen fairly, honestly and justly as The Forces Pension Society. The service and commitment given is mind blowing.

Member

“Wow!”

“Wow – thank you very much for the detailed e-mail. Having burnt my maths text books at the tender age of 16 this is exactly what I needed to make sense of what is a complicated system. Quite how anyone is supposed to be able to decipher that without your help is beyond me! I really appreciate the work you have put in and will recommend you to all my colleagues – a fantastic service.

Member

“Extremely beneficial webinar”

“On behalf of DHU, thank you very much for your extremely comprehensive Webinar this was extremely beneficial”

Defence HUMINT Unit

“Unclaimed pension”

“I have received overall £12743. Could not have done it without the support of the Society so I would like to thank you for pointing me in the right direction and particularly the help you gave me with the paperwork and answers to my questions. Really appreciate what you have done for me.”

Member

“A happy ending”

“I would just like to thank the team at FPS. I can confirm that over the last couple of weeks I have received several payments with regard to my previously unclaimed pension, nearly £2000 tax free, £5600 after tax and nearly £600 for loss of interest in addition to a £45 monthly increase to my pension, so one very happy ex-serviceman. Once again thanks for your continued help and support in such matters”

Member

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