Forces Divorce – Pensions

The pension schemes provided by the Armed Forces have recently been changed. If military personnel decide to divorce, how that pension is divided will be determined by a civilian court using rules devised specifically for Armed Forces personnel. The serving member may have their pension rights calculated and considered as part of the family’s overall financial assets when division of property is to be decided.

Armed Forces Pension Scheme (AFPS)

If you joined the Armed Forces between 1975 and 5 April 2005, your pension (AFPS75) is payable to you when you turn 60 and the amount of your pension will depend on your rank and length of service. You may be a member of this scheme who has chosen to transfer to the Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2005 (AFPS05).

If you joined the Armed Forces after 6 April 2005 you will automatically be a member of AFPS05 unless you chose to opt out. Under the AFPS05 scheme, your pension is also payable when you are 60 and the amount will depend on your length of service and final salary. In addition, you are entitled to the State Pension.

Early Departure Payments can be made to personnel who leave the forces between the ages of 40 and 55 and have served for at least 18 years.

Reserve Forces Pension Scheme (RFPS 05)

If you started or restarted full-time service in the Reserve Forces after 6 April 2005, you will be a member of the Reserve Forces Pension Scheme (RFPS 05) unless you have chosen to opt out. You will qualify for this scheme if you have served in the Territorial Army, Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) or the Royal Marines Reserve (RMR).

To obtain the most up-to-date information on your military pension entitlement, contact the Pensions Division of the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency at Mail Point 480, Kentigern House, 65 Brown Street, Glasgow, G2 8EX or phone 0800 085 3600.

Eligible partners (same sex or otherwise with whom an individual has an established and exclusive relationship of dependence or interdependence) are entitled to a pension unless death was due to Service. Under the Civil Partnership Act 2004, pension schemes are required to provide benefits to a civil partner based only on a member’s service from 6 April 1988. Civil partnership offers other non-pension benefits comparable with an eligible partner, including tax, married quarters, etc.

Whilst the Armed Forces provide detailed information for personnel considering divorce, they are unable to provide legal advice. Divorce courts make decisions on financial issues accompanying divorce regardless of whether one spouse is a serving member of the UK military.

Get in touch with our Armed Forces divorce pension experts

If you or your partner is a member or former member of the Armed Forces and considering a divorce, contact our divorce team -we specialise in Armed Forces divorce law, in particular in relation to military pensions.

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