Forces Pension Society Neil Marshall

Wednesday 8th May 2024

The Forces Pension Society explains the ‘importance of ticking all the right pension boxes before you leave’.

Right now, there are so many considerations to take into account before deciding to leave – or, if you have already decided, fixing exactly when to go, if you can. Choosing the right departure date carefully can make a significant difference to the pension you receive after departure. You need to weigh your personal circumstances to decide whether to opt for a larger tax-free lump sum, or a smaller sum and larger pension payments (involving commutation or inverse commutation). And you need to consider the needs of your dependants.

If this wasn’t complex enough, there’s the AFPS Remedy (McCloud), which requires you to choose between the benefits of your legacy pension scheme and AFPS15 (for the Remedy period between 1st April 2015 and 31st March 2022). Even here, as our Forces Pensions Consultants have identified, the “obvious choice”, on closer examination, may not be quite so obvious.

At an even more basic level, it is critical to understand your pension entitlements and how to select the right options on your AFPS Pension Form 1. A tick in the wrong box can have profound consequences which may not be reversible. Your personal requirements and the timing of your discharge will determine the options available to you.

Underlining the critical nature of your decisions prior to departure, Maj Gen Neil Marshall, CEO of the Forces Pension Society said:

“It’s a fact, that at today’s values, a pension of £20,000 pa would require a pension pot of at least £400,000. And your Armed Forces pension is inflation-proofed and not subject to the vagaries of the stock market.

“In dealing with the thousands of pension queries raised by the AFPS Remedy, our pensions experts at the Forces Pension Society, have frequently advised our Members to reconsider their initial inclination to opt for their legacy scheme benefits. So much depends on your individual circumstances, objective guidance can be invaluable. As and when you receive your RSS, we’re here to support you.

“That’s why we say- “it pays to understand your pension”- now more than ever.”

The Forces Pension Society is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that serves as a watchdog for the whole military community. If you would like to know more about our work and how we can help you make the most of your personal pension worth, visit


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