Military pensions

If you are a member of the Regular or Reserve Armed Forces you are automatically enrolled into the Armed Forces pension scheme when you join.  You can choose to opt out but you will be giving up free money if you do as the pension is non-contributory.  This means only your employer pays in, you don't have to.

You can earn a range of benefits, including a pension for you, and a pension for your dependants (after your death). The minimum length of service to qualify for any benefits under the scheme is two years.

Armed Forces pension schemes

There are three pension schemes.

Increasing your benefits

While you don’t have to make any direct payments into the scheme, there are ways that you can increase your benefits if you were a member of one of the previous schemes - check with your legacy scheme.

Before deciding whether to increase your benefits you should consider whether you will be affected by the annual allowance or the lifetime allowance on pension benefits. You can get information about this on the Armed Forces Pension calculator or from the Forces Pension Society - see below.

Pension forecast

You can use the Armed Forces Pension calculator to get a pension forecast. Alternatively you can ask for a written pension forecast on an annual basis and a forecast of your dependant’s benefits once every three years from Veterans UK.

Their contact details are:
Pensions Division
Mail Point 480
Kentigern House
65 Brown Street
G2 8EX

Phone: 0800 085 3600

You can also get information about your pension and entitlements from the Forces Pension Society. This is a not-for-profit membership organisation. For a small membership fee you can get independent information and guidance about your pension. 

Last reviewed: 16/04/2015