Resettlement Grants on returning to the Armed Forces
When to leave or re-join the Armed Forces is often a family decision and sometimes a couple ﬁnd that, having left, they miss Service life.
Mary Petley of the Forces Pension Society explains what happens to the Resettlement Grant (RG) for those who decide the grass is not greener in Civvy Street.
The RG is a tax-free lump sum intended to help Regular Service personnel settle into civilian life. It is payable to personnel who give a certain number of years’ paid service and leave with preserved AFPS 75/05 or deferred AFPS 15 pensions. Only Regular service counts towards the RG.
The periods of service required to qualify for an RG are as follows:
- AFPS 75: at least 9 years’ service from age 21 for Ofﬁcers and for Other Ranks, at least 12 years’ service from age 18.
- AFPS 05 and AFPS 15: Members must give at least 12 years’ service and leave before Early Departure Payment Scheme beneﬁts are payable.
Where an immediate pension or invaliding beneﬁts (including the Tier 1 ill-health lump sum) are paid, the RG is not payable.
Those who were transferred from AFPS 75 or AFPS 05 to AFPS 15 have protected beneﬁts in their ‘old’ scheme, and that included the RG.
Some will have had a break in service:
- Those who left with preserved AFPS 75 beneﬁts, and re-joined as AFPS 05 members, are entitled to count both periods of service towards the AFPS 05 RG.
- Those who left AFPS 75 or AFPS 05 with preserved beneﬁts and re-joined the Regulars after 1 April 2015 within 5 years of the earlier discharge will be able to count service from the earlier service towards qualiﬁcation for the AFPS 15 RG.
Formal aggregation is not necessary for these periods of earlier service to count for RG. This tax-free chunk of money arriving on discharge, just when you need it, is welcome but beware of taking on a further military post too soon:
- For AFPS 75, if you re-join the Regulars within 121 days or join the Full Time Reserve Service (FTRS) or Military Provost Guard Service (MPGS) within 30 days you will be liable to pay back all or part of the RG.
- For AFPS 05 or AFPS 15, if you re-join the Regulars or join the FTRS or MPGS within 31 days of leaving with an RG, you must repay the whole RG.
So be careful to observe the breaks in service but remember, the RG is not affected by joining the Part Time Volunteer Reserve.
If you are a Member of the Forces Pension Society and have questions about this or any other pension-related issue, contact the team at [email protected]. If you are not a Member but would like to know more about FPS, visit forcespensionsociety.org
Top image: © Bank of England