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Pension and compensation schemes for the Armed Forces, veterans and their families

About this information

This information applies to:

  • serving members of the Armed Forces, including reservists. This includes members of the Territorial Army, Royal Naval Reserve (RNR), the Royal Marines Reserve (RMR) and the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR)
  • people who used to serve in the Armed Forces including reservists (veterans)
  • the dependants of serving members of the Armed Forces and veterans.

There are a number of different pension schemes available to the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

You can use this information to find out about the schemes available to you, depending on your situation. You can also use this information to find out about other organisations that might be able to help you.

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Types of scheme

Pension schemes are schemes that provide payments to you after you have left the Armed Forces or when you retire.

Compensation schemes are schemes that will help you if you are injured while serving. They will also help you if you are a dependant of a member of the Armed Forces who died in service.

For more information about compensation schemes, see If you were forced to leave the Armed Forces because of serious injury.

The schemes you may be able to use depend on:

  • your type of service
  • when you served and for how long
  • the type of help you need.

These are the schemes that you may be able to use:

Whether or not any of these schemes apply to you will depend on your circumstances.

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If you joined the Armed Forces between 1975 and 2005

AFPS75 is a work-related pension scheme that began in 1975.

You may be a member of this scheme if you joined the Armed Forces between 1975 and 5 April 2005. However, you may have chosen to transfer to the Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2005 (AFPS 05).

The amount of your pension will depend on your rank, your length of service and the age at which you started serving in the armed forces.

Further information about the Armed Forces Pension Scheme 1975 is available from the Ministry of Defence website at www.mod.uk.

You can use the Armed Forces pension calculator to give you a forecast of benefits that you will receive. Go to the Armed Forces Pensions Calculator website and answer the series of questions.

The AFPS does not affect your State Pension. You are entitled to start receiving the State Pension at state pension age.

You can work out the exact date of your state pension age by using the state pension age calculator on the GOV UK website at www.gov.uk.

You can also get help and advice from the Royal British Legion. Call Legionline: 08457 725 725 (Monday-Friday 10.00am-4.00pm). Website: www.britishlegion.org.uk.

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If you joined the Armed Forces after April 2005

If you joined the Armed Forces from 6 April 2005 onwards you will automatically be a member of the Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2005 (AFPS 05).

The AFPS 05 is a work-related scheme that began on 6 April 2005. It replaced the previous scheme AFPS 75. Anyone who joined the Armed Forces since this date is on the scheme unless they choose to opt out. Some people who were on the previous scheme (AFPS 75) have also chosen to join AFPS 05.

The amount of your pension will depend on your length of service and final salary. The type of pension you are paid will also depend on your age when you leave the armed forces and whether your service in the forces is cut short by illness or injury.

You can find more information about the AFPS 05 on the Ministry of Defence website, at www.mod.uk.

You can use the Armed Forces pension calculator to give you a forecast of benefits that you will receive. Go to the Armed Forces Pensions Calculator website and answer the series of questions.

The AFPS does not affect your State Pension. You are entitled to start receiving the State Pension at state pension age.

You can work out the exact date of your state pension age by using the state pension age calculator on the GOV UK website at www.gov.uk.

You can also get help and advice about your pension from the Royal British Legion. Telephone: Legionline: 08457 725 725 (Monday-Friday 10.00am-4.00pm). Website: www.britishlegion.org.uk.

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If you joined or rejoined the reserve forces after April 2005

If you have started or restarted full time service in the reserve forces from 6 April 2005 onwards, you will be a member of the Reserve Forces Pension Scheme (RFPS 05) unless you have chosen to opt out of the scheme.

You will qualify for this scheme if you have served in one of these forces:

  • the Territorial Army
  • the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR)
  • the Royal Marines Reserve (RMR)
  • the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR).

To find out more, go to the Supporting Britain's Reservists and Employers (SaBRE) website at: www.sabre.mod.uk.

You can also get help and advice from the Royal British Legion. Call:

Legionline: 08457 725 725 (open Monday-Friday 10.00am-4.00pm).
Email: through the website at: www.britishlegion.org.uk.

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War Widow's or War Widower's pension

If your husband, wife or civil partner died as a result of serving in the Armed Forces, you may get a War Widow’s or War Widower's pension.

This is based on your husband, wife or civil partner's pay.

For more information, contact Veterans UK. You can find their contact details in the Further help section.

For more information on benefits when someone has died, see Benefits and Bereavement.

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If you have health problems because of being in the Armed Forces

If you have health problems because of being in the Armed Forces, you may be entitled to payments under the war pension scheme or the Armed Forces compensation scheme.

For more information about the war pension scheme and the Armed Forces compensation scheme, see If you were forced to leave the Armed Forces because of serious injury.

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Further help

More information for the Armed Forces, veterans and their families on Adviceguide

For more education information, see Help with training and qualifications for people leaving the Armed Forces and veterans.

For more financial information, see Benefits and concessions for the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

For more health information, see Healthcare for people injured in the Armed Forces and veterans.

For more housing information, see Housing options for people leaving the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

For more general information on pensions, see Pensions.

Other organisations

Royal British Legion

The Royal British Legion can give advice on pensions and help with making your claim.

Telephone: Legionline: 08457 725 725
Website: www.britishlegion.org.uk.

War Pensions and Compensation Service

For information about War Disablement Pensions and War Widow or Widower's Pension in England and Wales, contact:

War Pensions and Compensation Service
The Royal British Legion
Haig House
199 Borough High Street
London
SE1 1AA

Telephone: 020 3207 2164 or 020 3207 2168 or 020 3207 2169
Fax: 020 3207 2218
Email: through the website at www.britishlegion.org.uk.

War Pensions and Compensation Team

For information about compensation claims in England and Wales, contact:

War Pensions and Compensation Team
The Royal British Legion
Haig House
199 Borough High Street
London
SE1 1AA

Telephone: 020 3207 2163
Fax: 020 3207 2218
Email: through the website at www.britishlegion.org.uk.

Royal British Legion Scotland

The Royal British Legion Scotland can give help and advice on Armed Forces pensions in Scotland.

For more information you can contact them at:

Royal British Legion Scotland
New Haig House
Logie Green Road
Edinburgh
EH7 4HR

Telephone: 0131 557 2782
Fax: 0131 557 5819
Email: lao@rblscotland.org
Website: www.rblscotland.org.

Veterans UK

Veterans UK gives advice on Armed Forces pensions and deal with claims for war pensions and compensation.

Its website has a lot of other useful information for veterans and their families, including on welfare support and other specialist support programmes that are available to veterans. It provides links to many other veterans organisations.

Veterans UK also runs a free helpline for veterans, which gives advice on many topics.

For more information you can contact them at:

Veterans UK
Ministry of Defence
Norcross
Thornton-Cleveleys
Lancashire
FY5 3WP

Veterans Helpline: 0808 1914218
Bereavement and textphone line: 0800 169 3458
Email: veterans-uk@mod.uk
Website: www.veterans-uk.info.

Forces Pension Society

The Forces Pension Society can give advice about Armed Forces pensions.

You can find out more information by contacting them at:

The Forces Pension Society
68 South Lambeth Road
London
SW8 1RL

Telephone: 020 7820 9988
Fax: 020 7820 7583
Email: memsec@forpen.co.uk
Website: www.forpen.org

Aftercare Service – Northern Ireland

The Aftercare Service provides medical, vocational, welfare and benevolence support to former full-time and part-time UDR and R IRISH (HS) soldiers and their families.

You can telephone one of their field teams:

North (Coleraine) 02892 260615
East (Holywood) 02890 420266
West (Enniskillen) 02892 260114
South (Portadown) 02890 260044

Website: www.aftercareservice.org

Supporting Britain's Reservists and Employers

Supporting Britain's Reservists and Employers (SaBRE) gives support and advice to reservists and their employers on all matters including pensions.

You can find out more by contacting them at:

SaBRE
Holderness House
Clifton Street
London
EC2A 4EY

Helpline: 0800 389 5459
Fax: 020 7426 8390
Email: through their website at www.sabre.mod.uk
Website: www.sabre.mod.uk

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