Recruitment & Retention Payments (2018)

Recruitment and retention payments (RRP) are paid to specific groups where there are long-standing recruitment and/or retention issues involving difficulties specific to some cadres or where external market competitive pressures exist.

These payments are made where the Ministry of Defence (MOD) does not consider a bespoke pay spine is warranted. Bespoke pay spines provide a long-term solution for groups with different career progression to the mainstream (e.g. Pilots or Chaplains) or who have pay aligned with direct comparator groups (e.g. Nurses).

The three bases for the payment of RRP are:

  • Continuous Career Basis (CCB) is paid where the specialism is fundamental to the core role of the individual, and will remain so for the duration of their career providing they remain qualified for the relevant RRP.
  • Non-Continuous Basis (NCB) is paid where the specialism is a secondary skill for the individual, but is a core task within the unit in which the qualifying post has been established. Individuals move in and out of the unit/post in question and, providing they are qualified, while in a qualifying post they receive RRP.
  • Completion of Task Basis (CTB) is paid where the specialism is a secondary skill for the individual, and is an occasional task undertaken in support of the unit within whose role the use of the specialism is required. Individuals will be paid RRP only for those days for which they are undertaking RRP duties.

In 2016-17, there were 18 different categories of RRP, costing around £108 million per year. Some personnel may qualify for more than one category of RRP.

The MOD also utilises other forms of targeted remuneration alongside RRP, judging which type of payment to use in what circumstance by considering, for example:

  • Duration;
  • Coverage;
  • Affordability;
  • Comparable groups; and
  • The particular recruitment and retention issue.

Other forms of targeted remuneration include:

  • Golden Hellos are sometimes used to encourage recruitment into certain specialisations; and
  • Financial Retention Incentives (FRIs) are shorter-term measures aimed at addressing staffing shortfalls in key skill groups by encouraging existing personnel to remain within the Armed Forces for a set return of service.

The Armed Forces Pay Review Body (AFPRB) conducts:

  • Light touch annual reviews; and
  • Full reviews.

When a Service person submits their notice to terminate service, RRP is completely removed, including those who have “served a full career” (AFPRB, 2018, p.34).


AFPRB (Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body). (2018) Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body Forty-Seventh Report 2018. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 22 January, 2019].


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.