Details of service pension and services managed by Veterans UK.
Veterans UK is part of the Ministry of Defence (MOD). It provides essential support services to the armed forces and veterans including:
- compensation payments to those injured or bereaved through service
- 1 to 1 veterans welfare support
Veterans UK strategy and objectives
Veterans UK delivers a through life service to both the armed forces and veterans communities. Veterans UK contributes to the defence mission through its services to front line servicemen and women and, as the name suggests, the work of Veterans UK also gives equal focus to the needs of veterans and their dependants.
- efficient delivery of core services
- veterans support
Veterans UK customers
Around 600,000 individual serving and former service personnel and dependants make up the Veterans UK customer base. These are the end customers of Veterans UK services. This aspect of service delivery can significantly influence the morale and effectiveness of individual service personnel, their dependants and their units.
The scale of delivery is shown in the table below:
Customers include not only individual service people and veterans but also the Services’ Personnel Management Authorities, MOD planning staff and policy makers, a variety of other business areas within defence and other government departments like HM Revenue and Customs, Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health
MOD planners and policy makers
The MOD and single service policy making and planning branches of other business areas within defence require information and advice from Veterans UK to support the development and implementation of new policies to inform the MOD’s resource allocation process and to support ministers in their discharge of parliamentary business.
The value of the funds disbursed on behalf of the department by Veterans UK, some £5,255 million through its pay and pensions service delivery means Veterans UK also plays an important role in informing MOD’s financial reporting processes.
Pension forms are produced by the Veterans UK and are available here.
Pensions for veterans
As part of Ministry of Defence, Veterans UK are responsible for the assessment, award, payment, and maintenance of all pensions relating to the armed forces.
- occupational pensions
- Armed Forces Pension Schemes (AFPS)
- war disablement pensions
- war widows’ pensions
- related allowances
- other payments to service veterans.
They also administer ex-gratia payments scheme to former prisoners of the Japanese in World War 2.
In addition, Veterans UK undertake the assessment, award and maintenance of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) claims plus the presentation of appeals to the independent Pensions Appeal Tribunals (PAT) for both current and former service personnel.
There are currently 2 Armed Forces Pension Schemes (AFPS) available to service leavers:
Have you served in the military since 1975?
It is possible that you have earned a preserved pension payable at age 60 (or 65 if you joined after April 2006). Read the following to see if you qualify and follow the links for the application forms if you do.
Pensions for service leavers
There are currently 2 Armed Forces Pension Schemes (AFPS) available to service leavers:
AFPS 75 pension benefits are based on rank and length of service. All personnel serving between 6 April 1975 and 6 April 2005 will have served under the AFPS 75 scheme.
AFPS 05 pension benefits are based on length of service and final salary and personnel who joined after 6 April 2005 will be serving under the AFPS 05 scheme. However, personnel serving between July 2005 and March 2006 were given the option to move to the AFPS 05 as part of the Offer to Transfer process.
There are some fundamental differences between the schemes that cover both retired benefits and dependants benefits. To find out what benefits personnel are entitled to, read the information below and download the booklets that are applicable to the AFPS that you/your spouse are/were serving under.
Service preserved pensions
Prior to 6 April 1975 there was no provision for a preservation of pension benefits and service personnel who left the armed forces had to have completed 16 years from age 21 (officers) or 22 years from age 18 (other ranks). Those who left before that date without completing the above criteria, lost all pension entitlement.
The rules changed on 6 April 1975 to provide for pensions to be preserved for payment at age 60 for all those discharged over the age of 26 with a minimum of 5 years service. On 6 April 1988, the qualifying period was reduced from 5 to 2 years and the age criterion was dropped. Preserved pensions have to be claimed at age 60 or at age 65 if your service began after 5 April 2006. However, you can claim your preserved pension sooner if you become permanently incapacitated.
Service pensions are administered by Veterans UK but pension payments are made by Paymaster (1836) Ltd, the paying authority for the Armed Forces Pension Scheme (AFPS).
For help and information on your armed forces pension please ring the Veterans UK on 0800 085 3600
or write to:
Veterans UK Pension Division
Mail Point 480
65 Brown Street
Glasgow, G2 8EX
For help and information on your compensation claim please ring the Veterans UK on 0808 1914 218.
or write to:
Lancashire, FY5 3WP
Armed forces attributable benefits (Pre-6 April 2005)
What armed forces attributable benefits are
Armed forces attributable benefits are paid where the injury, illness or death was caused by service before 6 April 2005. The benefits are paid under the attributable rules of the Armed Forces Pension Scheme 1975. The benefits are paid to regular personnel (and surviving dependents) if they are medically discharged as a result of service. The rules provide for a minimum income guarantee according to the individual’s rank and the assessment of the degree of disablement.
A separate standalone scheme containing these rules will be introduced by April 2010.
Who is eligible
To receive benefits you must have been medically discharged from service and receive a war disablement pension from the War Pensions Scheme for your principal invaliding condition. Once a Service Invaliding Pension has been awarded by Veterans UK, the case is automatically referred to consider if a war disablement pension is paid; if so the case is then sent back to Veterans UK for consideration for AFPS 75 attributable award.
What happens if the injury, illness or death is caused on or after 6 April 2005
The Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) is for all members of the regular and reserve forces, providing compensation for all injuries, ill-health and death due to service on or after 6 April 2005.
Freephone: 0808 1914 218 (UK only) Overseas Helpline: +44 1253 866 043
Additional voluntary contributions and stakeholder pensions
A new armed forces pension scheme will be introduced from April 2015, known as The Future Armed Forces Pension Scheme. The scheme will include the option to buy additional voluntary contributions (AVCs), details of which are being finalised.
Members of AFPS 05 have the option of purchasing AVCs to buy added years.
Members of AFPS 75 have the option of purchasing several different types of AVCs, including added years. These AVCs will continue to be available, unchanged, in accordance with HMRC and current scheme rules, up to the introduction of the new pension scheme in April 2015.
Service personnel within 10 years of their current scheme’s normal pension age (NPA) on 1 April 2012 (ie. regulars aged 45 or over on 1 April 2012) qualify for ‘transitional protection’ and will remain in their current pension scheme. The current rules on AVCs will continue to apply beyond April 2015.
Service personnel without transitional protection will move onto the new pension scheme in April 2015. Details of how this affects existing AVCs are set out in DIN 2012 01-249 which can be found on the Defence Intranet.
Information relating to AVCs, added years and stakeholder pensions for members of the Armed Forces Pension Scheme 1975 and 2005
AFPS 75: improved death in service (DIS) benefit AVC
- I am a member of AFPS 75 and wish to buy a DIS AVC
Please see information regarding the new Armed Forces Pension Scheme and its effect on AVCs.
For those service personnel who are moved onto the new pension scheme in April 2015, payments in respect of this AVC, and the benefit cover, will stop in April 2015. This is because the new scheme will automatically provide comparable benefits to those being bought. Members will not have any accrued rights (including no entitlement to a refund of premiums already paid), as the DIS AVC is an insurance-type arrangement providing ongoing cover while AVC payments continue and with no refund payable if the member does not die in service during payment of the AVC.
Those purchasing this AVC will secure a lump sum death benefit in the event of the member’s death in service of the greater of: either 4 times what the member’s representative rate of pay would have been if the member had had the maximum amount of reckonable service permitted; or 4 times the member’s annual pensionable earnings at the date of death.
If you wish to buy a DIS AVC you should complete AFPS form 4 available on our pensions forms page. You can find the factors for members of AFPS 75 to calculate the contribution rates for DIS benefits additional voluntary contributions in this section.
- I am a member of AFPS 75 and want to change or stop my DIS AVC
For APS 75 members, once an AVC is entered into, the member cannot increase or decrease the level of contribution. Also, the AFPS 75 member cannot cancel an AVC, unless in exceptional circumstances outside the member’s control.
AFPS 75: improved spouse/civil partner benefits and/or headroom on pay AVCs
- I am a member of AFPS 75 and wish to buy improved spouse/civil partner benefits and/or headroom on pay benefits
Please see the section about the new Future Armed Forces Pension Scheme and its effect on AVCs.
For those service personnel who are moved onto the new pension scheme in April 2015, payments in respect of these AVCs, and the benefit cover, will stop in April 2015. The new scheme will automatically provide benefits from April 2015 in addition to those being bought. Members or their spouses/civil partners will accrue rights to a proportion of these benefits bought up to April 2015.
If you were not previously paying for a spouse/civil partner and/or headroom on pay AVC and wish to buy one of these AVCs, you should complete AFPS form 4 which you can find on our pensions forms page.
The factors for members of AFPS 75 to calculate the contribution rates for enhanced spouse/civil partner benefits and/or headroom on pay AVCS are available here
- I am a member of AFPS 75 and want to change or stop my improved spouse or civil partner benefits and/or headroom on pay AVCs
For AFPS 75 members, once an AVC is entered into, the member cannot increase or decrease the level of contribution. Also, the AFPS 75 member cannot cancel an AVC, unless in exceptional circumstances outside the member’s control. See details of spouse/civil partner AVC factors.
AFPS 75: Added years AVC
- I am a member of AFPS 75 and want to buy an added years AVC
Please see the information in the new Future Armed Forces Pension Scheme section and its effect on AVCs.
For those service personnel who are moved onto the new pension scheme in April 2015, added years AVCs bought before April 2015 will continue unchanged in accordance with AFPS 75 AVC rules (the old scheme’s rules). Service personnel will continue to pay their AVCs and the added years of service will be added to the individual’s old scheme benefits when they leave the armed forces.
- I am a member of AFPS 75 and want to change or stop my added years AVC
For AFPS 75 members, once an AVC is entered into, the member cannot increase or decrease the level of contribution. Also, the AFPS 75 member cannot cancel an AVC, unless in exceptional circumstances outside the member’s control.
AFPS 05: Added years AVC
- I am a member of AFPS 05 and want to buy an added years AVC
Please see details of the new Future Armed Forces Pension Scheme and its effect on AVCs.
For those service personnel who are moved onto the new pension scheme in April 2015, added years AVCs bought before April 2015 will continue unchanged in accordance with AFPS 05 AVC rules (the old scheme’s rules). Service personnel may continue to pay for their AVCs and the added years of service will be added to the individual’s old scheme benefits when they leave the armed forces.
- I am a member of AFPS 05 and want to change or stop my added years AVC
You can have more than one AFPS 05 added years AVC. If you want to increase your added years then you can take out a new contract. However, be aware that the rates have been revised and the premiums will be calculated using your current age, not your age when you originally took out an earlier added years contract. If you want to reduce your added years you will be required to cancel your current arrangement and then complete an application for a new contract. See detail of AFPS 05 added years
You can cancel your contract at any time and will be credited with reckonable service on a pro rata basis. You must contact Veterans UK (Glagow) to cancel. See information in the contacts section.
Armed forces pensions and redundancy
Information about armed forces pensions and redundancy schemes
For help and information on your armed forces pension please ring the Veterans UK on 0808 085 3600 or write to:
Veterans UK JPAC Enquiry Centre
Mail Point 480
65 Brown Street
Glasgow, G2 8EX
Armed Forces Pension Scheme 1975 and 2005
There are 2 different pension schemes available to members of the regular armed forces. On this page you will find information on the Armed Forces Pension Schemes 1975 and AFPS 2005, including guidance booklets, pensions calculator and pension codes.
For serving or retired members of the Gurkha Pension Scheme (GPS), please see the guidance booklet on the GPS in this section.
Armed forces redundancy calculator
Access the Redundancy calculator
Gurkha members should use the Gurkha pensions and redundancy calculators.
Armed Forces Pension Scheme 1975 (AFPS 75)
Using the links below you will find information on Armed Forces Pension Scheme 1975 policy including guidance booklets, pensions calculator and pension codes.
Pension forms are produced by the Veterans UK and are available here
AFPS 75 guidance booklets are available here.
Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2005
Booklets are available which provide information on the the Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2005 (AFPS 05).
Pension forms are produced by Veterans UK and are available here
Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2015
Information about the AFPS 15 and related documents are available here.
How to transfer benefits in and out of the armed forces pension schemes
The factors for all types of transfer are:
- AFPS 05 Club Transfers In
- AFPS 05 Club Transfers Out
- AFPS 05 Non Club Transfers In
- AFPS 05 Non Club Transfers Out
- AFPS 75 Club Transfers Out
- AFPS 75 Non Club Transfers Out
Factors for AFPS 75 Non Club Transfers In are available from SPVA on request.
Types of transfer
There are two types of transfers ‘Club transfers’ and ‘Non club transfers’’:
A “club” transfer
A club transfer takes place when the previous or new arrangement is a member of the public sector transfer club and under this transfer you would receive a service credit of equivalent value to that built up in the previous scheme, regardless of any change in salary.
A “non-club” transfer
A non-club transfer takes place if the previous or new scheme is not a member of the public sector transfer club and you would receive a lower service credit under these arrangements.
What does Transferring pension benefits mean?
Transferring pension benefits into AFPS 75.
If you are a member of AFPS 75 then you are now no longer able to transfer any “club” scheme pension benefits into the scheme. This is because there is a time limit of undertaking this option, within one year of taking up employment and AFPS 75 has been closed to new entrants from 5 Apr 05. It is still possible to transfer in from a “non club” scheme provided the application is made on or before your 54th birthday.
Transferring pension benefits into AFPS 05
If you are a member of Armed Forces Pensions Scheme (AFPS) 05 and have built up pension benefits elsewhere before joining the armed forces you have the option to transfer in the value of your other benefits to receive a service credit in AFPS 05.
If you are a member of AFPS 05 you can undertake a “club” transfer within one year of taking up employment and “non-club” transfers before the beginning of your final year of service before your pension is due.
If you leave AFPS 75 or AFPS 05 without receiving immediate pension benefits (including leaving with an Early Departure Payment (EDP) under AFPS 05) you have the option to transfer the value of your preserved pension benefits to another pension arrangement.
Transferring benefits out of AFPS 75 or AFPS 05
If you leave the armed forces with a preserved pension and take up new employment where an occupational pension scheme is available, you can transfer your preserved AFPS benefits into that scheme.
You can apply for a transfer at any time up to one year before your benefits become payable or up to six months after leaving the armed forces, if that is later, provided you left the armed forces on or after 1 Jan 86. However, the receiving scheme may also impose its own time limits for transfers in.
How is the transfer value calculated?
Veterans UK use factor tables to determine the amount of reckonable service to be credited. These tables relate to the sex and age of the individual.
What do I need to do to arrange a transfer in of benefits?
Before you apply to Veterans UK for a transfer you need to obtain details of the amount of your transfer value from your previous pension scheme, and then an estimate from Veterans UK of the additional reckonable service that this will buy in your new scheme. If you decide to go ahead with the transfer, you should make your application to Veterans UK in writing (see address below).
You must be serving in the armed forces to be eligible to transfer in and once you have chosen a transfer from your previous pension scheme, you cannot change your mind and you will have given up forever your rights and those of your dependants under the previous schemes.
What do I need to do to arrange a transfer out of benefits?
If you leave the armed forces to take up new employment where an occupational pension scheme is available, you can transfer your preserved pension from the Armed Forces Pension Scheme into that scheme. Alternatively you can transfer to a personal pension scheme. Before you apply for a transfer please ensure that you have considered all the issues carefully and the time limits that may apply. See the Transferring benefits booklet for further information. If you then decide to go ahead with the transfer, you should make your application to Veterans UK in writing (see address below).
Once you have chosen a transfer from the Armed Forces Pension Scheme and the transfer of funds has been completed, you cannot change your mind and you will have given up forever your rights and those of your dependants under the Armed forces pension schemes.
Where can I get more information?
The booklet ‘Transferring benefits’ provides more information and points out some of the issues you should consider before undertaking any transfer of benefits. The Veterans UK helpdesk can also answer any queries you have:
Veterans UK Pensions Division
Mail Point 480
65 Brown Street
Glasgow, G2 8EX
Tel: 0800 085 3600
Stakeholder Pensions are flexible, low cost, private pensions which were introduced by the government to help people save for their retirement. They are money purchase arrangements under which contributions are invested to provide a fund at retirement. They do not top up benefits under AFPS 75, AFPS 05 or RFPS, but are in addition to, and separate from, those provided by these occupational pension schemes. Stakeholder pensions do not affect occupational pension scheme benefits, but help individuals maximise their retirement benefits and allow members to save in a tax-efficient way.
Stakeholder pensions are available with the Ministry of Defence’s preferred provider, Scottish Widows with whom a specially reduced annual management charge of 0.6 per cent has been agreed.
Stakeholder pensions are also available to your spouse/partner and/or children.
For further information on this scheme, please contact Scottish Widows:
Phone: 0845 608 0376 Overseas: +44 131 655 6600
Members of the armed forces
The AFCS provides compensation for any injury, illness or death which is predominantly caused by service on or after 6 April 2005.
ALL current and former members of the UK armed forces, including reservists, may submit a claim for compensation. In the event of service-related death, the scheme pays benefits to eligible partners and children.
You can submit a claim while you are still serving or when you have left the armed forces. There are time limits for putting in a claim but, above all, you should make sure that you submit a claim for compensation at a time which is best for you.
You can submit a claim for any injury or illness which occurs while you are participating in a service-related activity. This includes Adventurous training (AT), physical exercise and organised sport for example, inter-service athletics
If you are thinking of putting in a claim or are looking for more information about the scheme, you can find further details by:
Visit the Veterans UK to download a claim form
Listen to a selection of podcasts
Phone the free helpline for information and guidance
- 0808 1914 218 (UK only)
- +44 1253 866 043 (overseas)
Reserve forces pension scheme (RFPS)
RFPS: Your pension scheme explained PDF booklet explaining the details of the Reserve forces compensation scheme
For further information on the delivery of your pension and to download the forms related to the scheme please see the section on pensions forms where you will find:
- Inverse commutation application (AFPS Form 1)
- Nomination/revocation of death lump sum (AFPS Form 2)
- Allocation of pension (AFPS Form 3)
- Claim Payment of Preserved Pension (AFPS Form 8)
The Central Advisory Committee on Pensions and Compensation
The Central Advisory Committee (CAC) on Pensions and Compensation was first established by the War Pensions Act 1921 to:
consider such matters as may be put before them by the minister for their advice.
Its role today has evolved. Having previously been concerned mainly with compensation for ex-service personnel and wider veterans’ issues, the committee now provides advice on policy issues and act as a consultative mechanism for all service pension and compensation schemes.
The CAC is chaired by the Minister for Defence Personnel Veterans and Welfare and comprises representatives from:
- the Royal British Legion (RBL)
- the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA)
- the Confederation of British Service Organisations (COBSEO)
- the British Limbless Ex-Service Men’s Association (BLESMA)
- the Forces Family Federation (FFF)
- the Independent Medical Expert Group (IMEG)
- the Veterans Advisory and Pensions Commitee (VA&PC)
- the War Widows’ Association (WWA)
- the Forces Pension Society (FPS)
- the Veterans UK
- Ministry of Defence (MOD) policy officials
The Criminal injuries compensation (overseas) scheme
The Criminal injuries compensation (overseas) scheme (CIC(O)) provides compensation for service personnel and their accompanying eligible dependants who, whilst serving overseas, is the innocent victim of a crime of violence.
What is the CIC(O) scheme?
The CIC(O) scheme is designed to give comparable levels of compensation to that which would be awarded by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), had the incident occurred in Great Britain. The CIC(O) is an ex-gratia scheme and is analogous to the 2008 CICA Scheme.
For further information see the guide to the Criminal Injuries Compensation (Overseas) Scheme.
Who can make a claim?
Armed forces personnel, including members of the reserve forces, cadet forces and their instructors and their accompanying eligible dependants, who whilst serving overseas sustained a criminal injury or death, will be considered under this scheme. Compensation is not payable where death or injury is the result of war operations or military activity by warring factions.
How do I apply?
Complete the application form below. Details of where to send the application are included.
Who can I contact for information?
Veterans UK administers the scheme.
Criminal Compensation (Overseas) Scheme
Telephone: 01253 333480
Criminal injuries compensation (overseas) scheme application form
This is the application form for the CIC(O) scheme which provides compensation for service personnel and their accompanying eligible dependants who, whilst serving overseas, sustain a criminal injury or death.
If you wish to lodge an application, you should contact the following as appropriate:
Army personnel - HQ Army legal assistance:
Tel: Mil (9) 4881 3191 or 3196
Civil: 00 49 521 9254 3191 or 3196.
RAF personnel - OC P1 or OC PSF at your unit
RN & RM personnel:
Legal Aid Officer
Completed applications need to be sent to:
Criminal injuries compensation (overseas) scheme
Norcross, Blackpool, FY5 3WP.
For further information please contact: +44 1253 333442
The Gurkha pension scheme
All members of the Brigade of Gurkhas enlisted before 2007 automatically became members of the Gurkha pension scheme (GPS). The ‘Your Gurkha pension scheme explained’ booklet below is a guide to the range of benefits which could be earned during service as a member of the Gurkha pension scheme. This booklet is intended to be read by both serving and retired members of the Gurkha pension scheme.
The Gurkha pension scheme: your benefits explained (booklet)
This booklet provides Information relating to pension benefits for members of the Brigade of Gurkhas who enlisted before January 2007. The Gurkha pension scheme was closed to new entrants from 6 April 2006.
JPAC enquiry centre
JPAC acts as first point of contact for any query from serving personnel
Telephone calls to the JPAC enquiry centre will be answered by a an automated message and will ask the caller to select one of four options:
- IT enquiries and password resets
- pay, personnel and records of service and ID Cards
(Additional options may be added for specific incidents/scenarios)
Having selected an option the caller will be routed to an appropriate agent who will ask what the query/problem is; carry out an identification and verification process and take appropriate further action.