What is the Purpose of the Recruitment & Retention Allowance (London)?

The intent of Recruitment and Retention Allowance (London) (RRA(L)) is to counter reluctance to serve in designated London locations by contributing to the higher costs encountered during an assignment to the capital and by compensating for the reduced quality of the infrastructure supporting both the living and working environment.

RRA(L) also recognises:

  • The stress of commuting;
  • The higher cost of food and beverages in Inner London;
  • The lack of Service sporting, recreation facilities or a Service Mess; and
  • Extra travelling time to and from medical and dental appointments.

It is paid to those serving at least six months in a location within five miles of Charing Cross, or at either Cavalry Barracks (Hounslow) or Woolwich Garrison and is currently valued at £4.04 per day.

It was originally paid to those at OF-6 (Brigadier) and below, but removed for those personnel above OR-4 (Corporal) from April 2012.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has requested that the Armed Forces Pay Review Body (AFPRB) “endorse the removal of RRA(L)” (AFPRB, 2018, p.45). The AFPRB noted that the MOD had not considered an alternative allowance to replace RRA(L), nor were they “aware of any general trend amongst other employers for the removal of London weighting payments for their equivalent staff.” (AFPRB, 2018, p.45).


AFPRB (Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body). (2018) Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body Forty-Seventh Report 2018. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/armed-forces-pay-review-body-forty-seventh-report-2018. [Accessed: 22 January, 2019].


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