Commitment Bonus

You may be eligible for a Commitment Bonus if you are a non-commissioned regular and have completed a specific number of years' service. There are two current schemes, depending on when you started. Find out which one may apply to you and if you are eligible.

Note: Service Personnel joining or re-joining on or after 1 April 2016 will not be eligible for any Commitment Bonus Payments - JSP 754 Part 2 Chapter 6 Section 2. 06.0204b.

Commitment Bonus entitlements will stop from 1 April 2021 - JSP 754 Part 2 Chapter 6 Section 2 06.0204a. You must claim your Commitment Bonus by 31 March 2022.

Any bonus is a boost to your income, so think about what you will do with it.  Don't blow it all on a night out - how about 'spend some and save some'.  You'll be more MoneyFit if you save it all, but we don't want to spoil your fun - you deserve a treat.

The two schemes

The two schemes are:

  • The 2009 scheme – for those whose reckonable service started after 2 April 2005 but who started their phase 1 training before 20 January 2011. For a breakdown of this scheme see JSP 754 Part 2 Chapter 6 Section 2 Annex A.
  • The 2011 scheme – for those who started their phase 1 training on 20 January 2011 and before 1 April 2016. For a breakdown of this scheme see JSP 754 Part 2 Chapter 6 Section 2 Annex B.

Your reckonable service is counted from the later of age 18 or date of enlistment whichever is the latter, except for those in the RAF who enlisted after 1 April 2007, in which case it is the date of enlistment.

Money fitness tip

Get into the savings habit and make the most of your bonus.  See Cash savings for your options and get MoneyFit.

  • Apart from RN Artificers, RM band members and nurses, you can choose whether to receive your Commitment Bonus (CB) in one or two parts
  • You can apply for a CB on reaching a specified point in your career determined by your service and trade. You will have to make an application for the CB - see JSP 754 Part 2 Chapter 6 section 2
  • The longer you wait for your first payment, the more you will receive, with the largest payments to those who wait to receive one lump sum
  • Once a payment has been made, you cannot repay the CB in order to receive a higher amount at a later date 
  • You must meet the satisfactory performance requirements for a Yearly Incremental Progression (YIP) on the date that the CB is due 
  • You are not eligible for a CB if you have given notice to leave the service
  • If you decide to end your service after receiving a CB, you will have to serve for 12 months from the qualifying date of the payment

Bear in mind that your Commitment Bonus is a taxable lump sum and subject to National Insurance Contributions. Payments such as these therefore contribute towards your taxable earnings and could potentially push you over the eligibility threshold for claiming benefits and tax credits.

Stay MoneyFit

Use your bonus wisely to make the most of your money - think about whether you want to put it towards saving for your own home, to buy a car or to invest in your future - see the Managing money section for more information.

Last reviewed: 13/02/2018