Armed forces pension scheme

f you’ve served in the armed forces, then you’re entitled to claim a pension upon retirement through the AFPS (Armed Forces Pension Scheme). The AFPS is a non-contributory pension scheme which you can usually claim when you’re 55. Claim requirements are dependent on when you’ve served:

I served before 6th April 1975
Prior to this date, there was actually nothing in place for the provision of preserved pension benefits. Officers had to have completed 16+ years of service from the age of 21, or 22 years+ from the age of 18 for all other ranks. If you didn’t meet this criterion, you would have lost all pension entitlement. In 1988 the rules were changed so that you only needed to have completed at least 2 years of service and the age requirement was dropped completely. If you served before the 6th April 1975, you can claim for a Service Preserved Pension once you’re 60.

I served between 1975 and 2005
The AFPS 75 pension scheme is for personnel that served between the 6th April 1975 and the 6th April 2005. The type of pension and amount you get paid will depend on your final rank and your length of service: Full career pension – 34+ years of service (officers), 37+ years for all other ranks. You’ll also be entitled to a lump-sum payment (normally tax-free) of 3 times your annual rate of pension.

Immediate pension – 16+ years of service (officers), 22+ years for all other ranks. You’ll also be entitled to a lump-sum payment (normally tax-free) of 3 times your annual rate of pension.

Preserved pension – 2+ years of service. You’ll also be entitled to a lump-sum payment (normally tax-free) of 3 times your preserved pension.

I served from 2005 onwards
The AFPS 05 pension scheme is for personnel that joined the armed forces from the 6th April 2005 onwards. As with the AFPS 75, the type of pension and amount you get paid will depend on your final rank and your length of service: Early Departure Payment scheme – you’re at least 40 years of age and have completed 18+ years of service. Aside from receiving a preserved pension, you’ll also be entitled to a lump- sum payment (normally tax-free) of 3 times your preserved pension. Preserved pension – you’ve completed at least 2+ years of service. You’ll also be entitled to a lump-sum payment (normally tax-free) of 3 times your preserved pension.

Pensions are index-linked and are currently increased each year in line with the consumer price index.

I am a member of the Full Time Reserve Service
The RFPS pension scheme is for reservists that have joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve, the Royal Marines Reserve, the Royal Navy Reserve, or the Territorial Army from the 6th April 2005 onwards. A basic pension can be claimed and paid out if you serve until you’re 60. If you leave before you’re 60, you can claim when you’re 65 years old. Visit the MOD’s Pension and Annual Allowance Calculator to check your pension entitlements
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