Military AircrewA forum for the professionals who fly the non-civilian hardware, and the backroom boys and girls without whom nothing would leave the ground. Army, Navy and Airforces of the World, all equally welcome here.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Would anyone have an idea as to the best route to follow to contest a pension calculation. On reaching my 16/38 point, I was offerred a very good posting, and so as to not deny myself this once in a 16 year tour carrot, I signed on until 55, though as an old SPEC Aircrew Flt Lt. The problem is, after one year on I received an excellent Job opportunity and subsequently handed in my PVR. Now the interesting thing is that although the Gratuity has remained the same, the pension has been reduced by approx. £2000 per year. Now I am not usually one of those vindictive people, but who after serving Queen and country for more than 17 years I cannot understand why I have been given this BIG Thankyou. I have therefore decided to argue against this decision, and fight for what was mine prior to signing on. I was never offerred the retention bonus, so therefore luckily that will never have to be paid back. If anyone happens to have any experience to the correct way to take the dear old RAF to the cleaners for my measly £2000, then please let me know as I would be very greatful. EPI
You cant understand why? well simply, if your not going to commit to the queen....why should she commit to you?
If the rules were that if you sign on the dotted line for the big 55....collect the pension and then subsequently whack yer PVR in, what do you think most people would do? No, I'm sorry mate. The Pay n pensions people were quite right to withdraw the pensh. If you want it back there is an easy solution.
Regular Ppruners will know that I think there are several points of contention in our terms of service and pensions arrangements, but this isn't one of them.
Look at what you are saying. You made a long term committment purely for the attraction of a very short term carrot. You then reneged on that committment at the very first "better" opportunity that came along. How committed were you?
The bottom line is that the rules of the sytem were properly applied in your case. You have no reasonable case to ask for recompense. The Service applied the appropriate penalty clause for your having sought very early release from your extended committment. If you try to argue otherwise, I fear you will be the one "taken to the cleaners".
Good luck arguing, but you are not the first and you will not be the last. However, as other posters have mentioned I doubt if you will have much success.
The official line is that your pension is not reduced if your PVR - you are paid what is due to you. Why the reduction? Well it is because in AFPS75 officers receive a bonus in their pension if they leave the service at the specified options points (16/38, 22/44, age 55) - this is to encourage people to leave at these pints which, for the RAF, greatly eases manpower planning. You decided that you did not wish to leave at one of these points so the MOD decides that you do not qaulify for the bonus.
EPI So lets get this straight. You served for 16 years and yet the fact that if you PVR you receive a smaller pension came as a surprise to you? You had 16 years to learn all the in and outs of the pension scheme and read all the fine print and you didn't bother. If you were not smart enough to research the options that were available to you, and be fully aware of their ramifications, then I think the RAF is probably better off without you. With pensions, as with so many things, the devil is in the detail. You owe it to yourself and your family to make damn sure you've done the research, asked the right questions and are aware of all the details. Flo
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Whilst serving out my PVR-porridge at Binnsworth in 2003, I researched this for a chum who couldn't decide whether to stay or go and wanted some advice..
The basic crux is that, if you serve to '38/16', you fulfil your original terms of service. If you leave at that point, well, fine and good and here's the gratuity and pension.
If you ask to extend to 55, then presumably you would only do so if offered Spec Aircrew assimilation. Which includes a significant pay rise and a vastly better pension when you make 55.
If, having extended to 55, you subsequently decide FIIQ and PVR as a result, then your 'new' pension is as promulgated for a full-career officer who has elected to PVR. Your previous '38/16' terms being nihil ad rem. This means that in the first few years after your '38/16' point you may be significantly worse off if you decide to pull the B&Y. Don't forget, of course, that your pension is frozen if you PVR and is NOT index-linked until you reach the age of 55. It is then adjusted for inflation from the time you PVR'd until the time you reach 55. If that's 19 years at 3% pa, it will be a nice increase when you finally get there. But not until then...
Extending to 55 and PVR'ing a year or two later is probably the worst possible option financially UNLESS you've got a really good job offer waiting outside. Check the AP (it's available on the RAF intranet) and work out the point at which your 'post-38' pension equates to what you would have had at '38/16' - and don't forget inflation!
The only possible point you could use in your favour would be to prove that you were finacially mis-advised when you made your application to extend to 55. Otherwise, I'm afraid it's tough-titty, mate.
The chum I was advising had one advantage; the deskO had offered a 5 year extension (although not on Spec Aircrew terms), but the appropriate paperwork hadn't been completed - no signature from the applicant or recommendation from the Sqn Cdr as required by the AP and agreed by the Blunt Mates in the office. So my advice was that she (ahh..bugger, that's blown it) still had the option of the '38/16' exit as the 5 year extension had been purely speculative.
And, at the end of the day, the Blunt Mates at Binnsworth will do the best they can to help you - but you need to do proper research first, I would suggest.
I did much the same thing - accepted assimlation as Spec Aircrew, then, a couple of years later when my personal circumstances had changed and things were looking up outside, applied to leave through the two redundancy deals of the mid-'90s. Didn't get accepted for that, so I PVR'd.
My Desk O looked after me very well; 9 months from PVR to out, flying throughout. I lost a bit of pension, but I gained flying employment to age 65, hugely more money, infinitely greater stability for my family, and no secondary duties etc. The whole deal was hugely in my favour, and I could hardly complain about the RAF's treatment of me when I was the one who 'broke the contract'.
The terms aren't new and shouldn't be a surprise; it's up to you to decide if it's worth it when you take the whole thing into account.
I did the same, losing about £1k a year. However, the whole lot being taxed at 40% on top of my new salary, I ended up losing £50 per month. My income after leaving is substantially more than I would have made staying in. Also while you are still serving you are not being paid any pension at all. So in my case a win but you have to look at the big picture to make an informed decision. Spending some time on a spreadheet playing with the numbers helps.
The little pension handouts they gave out, at least in 2003 and 2004, included a series of tables of years served vs value of pension accrued. This information has always been available, although it took a bit more digging to locate in the past (you can probably fine it on line these days!). There was one table for pension value on 'normal' retirement, and a separate one for retirement on PVR terms. The values in the PVR table were less than those in the 'normal' one, with the difference between the two decreasing until there was none for those PVRing at 50+.
While you might not agree with the morales/ethics of this issue (and Southside was very sympathetic as usual!) it is well publicised. As to whether the difference between the two is the size you indicate I couldn't comment at the moment, not having the relevant information readily to hand!
While this is not a personal criticism, but rather an overall observation, this thread, and many comments on the threads on the new pension scheme, do seem to highlight to me how little many serving military peronnel know about their own pension scheme/value. In almost all cases the information is available put there!
Location: Between a nice green place... and a hot sandy one with a nice marina :-)
A little nuance...
As I approached 38/16 (as a ground branch Sqn Ldr), the DeskO told me that my options were:
1. Waive option and continue to 55. 2. Take option and go on 38th birthday. 3. Defer the option by a year. Can do this up to 3 times before making decisions 1 or 2 above. On each occasion there'll be a DeskO chat at 'deferred option date minus 6 months', at which point we go through the whole the decision loop again.
Worked very well for me... I deferred the option twice then, with 9 or so months to go to my 40th birthday, I resolved a medical issue with the CAA, pulled the handle and left on my 40th.
And now... resting prior to an 0245 report for some night freighting... I never looked forward to going to the office this much!
To All those kind soles who replied, (definately not Southside who would have done well as a whinging 50 year old.........or maybe you are)
Thanks for all your answers. Yes, I guess I should have realised that I can't get something for nothing, especially with the government. I will be accepting the loss and getting on with my new life, which by the way is not too different from the last job, except this time 'DOWNUNDER'. I had 17 years of good times with mostly friendly people, and although I left on a little sour note, the poster was great, letting me go after only 4 months. I wish you all luck in the future, and if any of you ever make it to the other side of the world, please look me up
Beags old man I know you have now moved to the taking of your milk stout after tea, but apart from the fine skills of the Cooper's family and the odd Perth micro brewery the Ozzies know little of good beer But the wine is not french so all good really Charlie sends