Published on: 21 Feb 2017
When you join the Armed Forces you're automatically enrolled into the Armed Forces Pension Scheme. You don't have to pay any money into it yourself. You then get paid a pension when you reach the retirement age specified by the scheme. But did you know that there is £320 mn unclaimed Armed Forces pensions? How can you make sure you get yours when it’s due?
Just starting out
Pensions are probably the last things on your mind. But as you move around and progress through your career, make sure you keep your JPA up to date. Look out for your Benefit Information Statement (BIS) that you will receive every year around your birthday. This will show:
did you know?
So long as you've served in the Armed Forces for two years,you'll be eligible for an AF pension.
- How much pension and benefits you have built up so far and when they will be paid to you
- How much your spouse or civil partner will get if you die in Service
- Any pension and benefits from any previous Armed Forces pension scheme that is linked to current service.
For more information on BIS, there’s a useful explanation on the Royal Air Force Community Support website.
The BIS doesn’t provide a forecast of pension and benefits that you’ll get in retirement. For that you should use the pension calculator.
During your career
Wherever you are in your career, a change in circumstances can affect your pension. For example if you get married, enter a civil partnership, or get divorced make sure you update your JPA.
The BIS will be based on your service record. Any errors or omissions will affect the figures shown. You are responsible for checking your own service record; so make sure you check it and report any errors to your Unit Admin Officer. Keep your details on JPA up to date.
Your pension forecast could help you get a mortgage or other financial services, so keep all your pension paperwork in a safe place.
Find out what you'll get whether you're staying till retirement or leaving sooner - on the Grab Life by the *!%* website.
Money fitness tip
Don't forget to claim your preserved pension if you left before retirement age. It won't be paid to you automatically.
Whether still in Service or already out on Civvy Street, keep your information up to date so that you get your pension when it’s due.
If you’re in Service, update JPA and if you're a veteran, contact the Joint Personnel Administration Centre (JPAC) on 0800 085 3600.
Claiming your pension
Fill in the pensions application form found on Gov.uk and send to Veterans UK (address on the form). Any pension lump sum and/or resettlement commutation will be paid into the bank account held on JPA, so check your details on JPA to make sure it’s correct.
So - get pension ready, you've earned it - apply for it - get it!
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Grab Life by the *!%*
Service to Civvy – Are you pension ready? – Gov.uk
Armed Forces and Reserve Forces pension scheme booklets – Gov.uk
Service leavers guide – 2017 - Gov.uk