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Armed Forces Pension Scheme Rule Change

Regulars and Reserves who were in the Armed Forces pension scheme (AFPS) on or before 31 March 2012 and on or after 01 April 2015 could benefit from a rule change.

Eligible personnel who were transferred from legacy schemes (AFPS 75 and 05 for Regulars or FTRS 97, RFPS 05 and NRPS for Reservists) will automatically be placed back into those plans for their employment during the period of 01 April 2015 to 31 March 2022.

At the point benefits are paid, such as retirement, they can then choose which scheme’s benefits they want for those seven years - legacy or AFPS 15. Not all personnel will be better off opting for the earlier version.

The change has been introduced following a consultation on removing age discrimination, which occurred because public sector workers with less than ten years to go until pension age had been allowed to remain on their previous schemes.

In 2018 the Court of Appeal found this to be discriminatory against younger judicial and firefighter members and, as a result, the government agreed to amend pensions across the whole public sector.

All Armed Forces personnel who remain in active service from 01 April 2022 onwards will be moved into the reformed scheme.

Lieutenant Colonel Hawthorne Lockwood (AGC (SPS)), from the Army remuneration policy team, said: “Those affected shouldn’t contact Defence Business Services or unit HR staff yet as the implementation of this is still being worked through, but further details will be sent out in the coming months.”

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