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AFPS15 - government decision.

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AFPS15 - government decision.

Old 16th Jan 2020, 08:01
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Originally Posted by Bob Viking
For anyone who can remember AFPS 75 can you give me a quick heads up of the benefits of leaving on that vice AFPS 75/15?

What would it do to the lump sum?

BV
Bob Viking

2019 Rates:

22 years AFPS75 = 17,760.00 pa
+
6 years of PAS supplements = 2,411.10 pa

Total = 20,171.19 pa

Lump sum = 60,513.57 pa

Both totals above are without any commutation adjustment / enhancement.

NB that there are many flaws in the AFPS75 system with PAS. The pension tables and legislation were not fully completed for PA Spine, despite the promises over many years that these would be fixed in due course. The AFPS15 rollout effectively closed the AFPS75 scheme and the MoD took the view that it would not be updated further, leaving the errors and omissions cast-in-stone. This left some of the tables listing the defunct Specialist Aircrew Spine (gone since 2015 when the last 4 remaining spec aircrew branch officers were moved onto PAS for the AFPS15 rollout) rather than the more recent PA Spine.

The MoD have taken the view that for these tables, including service attributable and non-attributable invaliding, that the absence of a specific table for PAS means that the individual reverts to their base rank for pension purposes. There is a further wrinkle in that in some cases you may fall out of the PA system onto Spec Aircrew terms (eg ToS restrictions), a spine that no longer exists but for which tables are published and updated.

The MoD's reluctance to reopen the AFPS75 legislation has lead to a few interesting aircrew-specific pension cases. Following a helicopter crash a flt lt (PAS, previously Spec Aircrew) was medically discharged - his 'enhanced' medical pension was actually a massive cut from his normal PAS pension as it was calculated from a basic flt lt salary. He was given the opportunity to 'retire' normally to keep his PAS pension but this brought about other unintended consequences. He was not given the option to revert to his previous Spec Aircrew terms either. Others have not had this opportunity to game the system due to the severity of their injuries and have found their PAS pension removed on medical discharge.

The number of aircrew medically discharged is small and for those on PAS terms the number is smaller still, but those who deserve the best from their pension have been poorly served. The MoD's arguments over AFPS75 terms being frozen since 2015 have clearly collapsed since the court case and it is difficult to see how the MoD can avoid updating the scheme. No doubt they will drag their heels for as long as possible though.

Pensions are complicated so always seek professional advice. Regrettably actually finding someone who understands a brace of armed forces pensions specific for aircrew, Spec Aircrew, PA Spine, re-joiners, FTRS et al is remarkably difficult, if not impossible. So treat my numbers above with extreme caution.
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 08:38
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Originally Posted by Just This Once...
Pensions are complicated so always seek professional advice. Regrettably actually finding someone who understands a brace of armed forces pensions specific for aircrew, Spec Aircrew, PA Spine, re-joiners, FTRS et al is remarkably difficult, if not impossible. So treat my numbers above with extreme caution.
I thought was what the Forces Pension Society was for???

I do need to contact them to ask the implications of the recent govt decision and whether it affects me (05 PA, moved onto 15 for 3 years then retired into FTRS back onto 15). If there's an offer to go back to 05 for that last 3 year period as a Regular, is it better?
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 08:43
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You need to wait to see what they are proposing before you can judge the implications. I do know that MOD staff are working hard on this and we just need to be patient I'm afraid.
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 08:47
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Originally Posted by ForcesPensionSociety
You need to wait to see what they are proposing before you can judge the implications. I do know that MOD staff are working hard on this and we just need to be patient I'm afraid.
Is that what the FBU and NHS unions are doing, or are they gloves off, driving for the best deal for their membership?

Bearing in mind the potential wins and losses for AFPS members, I would have expected a vocal and visible PR campaign to keep MoDs feet to the fire on this. All we ha be had is silence and requoting of articles. As an AFPS retiree, Iíve not been given access to the multiple DIN and briefing videos. I havenít received any mail correspondence from MoD or the Veterans people in Glasgow.

This affects all of us, not just serving personnel and AF Pension Society need to act as that bridge. There needs to be a update newsletter pushed out on a repeated basis, focussed on where we are, where we think itís going and most importantly, what exactly the pensions society are doing with our membership fee to lobby for the best possible deal in the shortest possible timeframe. I suspect MoD are facing class action if people arenít hearing the right music in the right timeframe. I and many others are absolutely furious about the original meddling with pensions and now how we continue to be treated.

if MoD have capacity issues, itís not my/our problem. We served, have given our best when it counted and we are now being let down. If there is any evidence of dragging of heels to get the seniors over the retirement line, it needs to be exposed. Government [email protected] it, they need to increase resource to fix it.

Last edited by VinRouge; 16th Jan 2020 at 09:28.
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 09:28
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Originally Posted by VinRouge
Is that what the FBU and NHS unions are doing, or are they gloves off, driving for the best deal for their membership?

Bearing in mind the potential wins and losses for AFPS members, I would have expected a vocal and visible PR campaign to keep MoDs feet to the fire on this. All we ha be had is silence and requoting of articles. As an AFPS retiree, I’ve not been given access to the multiple DIN and briefing videos. I haven’t received any mail correspondence from MoD or the Veterans people in Glasgow.

This affects all of us, not just serving personnel and AF Pension Society need to act as that bridge. There needs to be a update newsletter pushed out on a repeated basis, focussed on where we are, where we think it’s going and most importantly, what exactly the pensions society are doing with our membership fee to lobby for the best possible deal in the shortest possible timeframe. I suspect MoD are facing class action if people aren’t hearing the right music in the right timeframe. I and many others are absolutely furious about how we have been and continue to be treated.

if MoD have capacity issues, it’s not my/our problem. We served, have our best when it counted and we are now being let down. If there is any evidence of dragging of heels to get the seniors over the retirement line, it needs to be exposed. Government [email protected] it, they need to increase resource to fix it.
Well said that man. Otherwise what are we paying £40/yr each for?

Why Forces Pension Society exists
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 10:09
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Originally Posted by just another jocky
I thought was what the Forces Pension Society was for???
Not really. The Forces Pension Society are pretty good at informing individuals as to what the rules are but when it comes to omissions or issues with the pension schemes they are little more than interested bystanders - they will not intervene or help members who find themselves caught in issues even when those individuals are poorly placed to fight their own cases.

The FPS advice with the PAS medical pension was:

The MOD have indicated that they will not readdress any issues with the 75 scheme. It is our understanding that in terms of a medical pension on PAS, there is no consideration given to the higher pay when calculating. I suggest raising the query with Veterans UK and if you would be so kind, sharing any response gained.
As you would expect, Veterans UK just repeated its position.

For those who transferred from Spec Aircrew, either by choice or policy direction, to PAS are probably unaware that they gave-up the enhanced medical pension awarded to Spec Aircrew. Indeed, most understood the change was positive to their pension with pay & pension decoupled from rank, not a potential negative one. Even a non-aircrew Army captain (LE) gets a higher medical pension than a top band PAS pilot.

One hopes that with the wider legal reversal from the 2015 position MoD will be forced to align the '75 scheme with the more modern pay spines and terms of service. Until then, the MoD's own failure to keep pension tables up-to-date will be held against the individual rather than the MoD.

The Forces Pension Society is just another vehicle to give service or ex-service personnel the bad news, even if they think it may be unfair or unjust. We are on our own.

Last edited by Just This Once...; 16th Jan 2020 at 10:21.
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 10:16
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Originally Posted by Just This Once...
Not really. The Forces Pension Society are pretty good at informing individuals as to what the rules are but when it comes to omissions or issues with the pension schemes they are little more than interested bystanders - they will not intervene or help members who find themselves caught in issues even when those individuals are poorly placed to fight their own cases.

The FPS advice with the PAS medical pension was:



As you would expect, Veterans UK just repeated its position.

For those who transferred from Spec Aircrew, either by choice or policy direction, to PAS are probably unaware that they gave-up the enhance medical pension awarded to Spec Aircrew. Indeed, most understood the change was positive to their pension with pay & pension decoupled from rank, not a potential negative one. Even a non-aircrew Army captain (LE) gets a higher medical pension than a top band PAS pilot.

One hopes that with the wider legal reversal from the 2015 position MoD will be forced to align the '75 scheme with the more modern pay spines and terms of service. Until then, the MoD's own failure to keep pension tables up-to-date will be held against the individual rather than the MoD.

The Forces Pension Society is just another vehicle to give service or ex-service personnel the bad news, even if they think it may be unfair or unjust. We are on our own.


That doesnít align with their stated mandate though. The one you get sent when you decide to join.

Guess itís time to get together and Lawyer Up then.
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 10:38
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Originally Posted by Jambo Jet
Well said that man. Otherwise what are we paying £40/yr each for?

Why Forces Pension Society exists
Jambo Jet

I hear you but for whatever reason the FPS did not get behind the campaign regarding the 2015 pension changes and actively cast doubt on any read-across to the Armed Forces.

Even 12 months ago the FPS's position was far from supportive:

We have received a number of comments which rest on the assumption that we have been treated in the same way as the judges and the firefighters. That is not so.

The new schemes adopted across the public sector in 2015 were very different for each profession, as were the transitional arrangements for each scheme. No one has challenged the right of the Government to introduce new schemes, they have simply challenged the transitional arrangements in those particular cases – and in the fire fighters’ case it is perhaps noteworthy that these were more generous to older members than were the Armed Forces transitional arrangements and that this generosity came at the expense of the new scheme.

Having previously sought advice on this we were not and still are not convinced that the firefighters results read across to the Armed Forces. That is why we are monitoring the situation – in common with many other public service unions and representatives. Once the smoke begins to clear we will re-evaluate and take further legal advice – and will decide what we do in the light of the final outcome, the Government’s resulting solution and what we think will achieve the best results for the whole Armed Forces community.

That is the sensible thing to do; we are a self-funding organisation and we are not going to empty our coffers on what could very well be an ill-founded campaign.
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 11:03
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Well one hopes that ďonce the dust settlesĒ, they ballot membership to see if people would be interested in creating a legal fund to challenge government and ensure the membership get a fair outcome. Sitting back and cowtowing the line isnít in our collective membership interests.
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 11:13
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Originally Posted by VinRouge
As an AFPS retiree, Iíve not been given access to the multiple DIN and briefing videos. I havenít received any mail correspondence from MoD or the Veterans people in Glasgow.
Mate I was told at a briefing I was at, and it's all rumour of course, that if you are out then nothing will be done. It's only going to be "fixed" for those still in.
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 11:28
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Originally Posted by downsizer
Mate I was told at a briefing I was at, and it's all rumour of course, that if you are out then nothing will be done. It's only going to be "fixed" for those still in.
So, despite the original change being potentially illegal, in terms of discrimination, there will be no uplift to restore benefits as was to the level it would have been if I had not been potentially illegally discriminated against?That isnt what is stated via Hansard.

https://www.parliament.uk/business/p...7-15/HCWS1725/

interestingly enough, the language differed somewhat between what we are being told and what has been legally agreed.

Also interesting to note that the FBU are additionally seeking damages for their members due to the impact of the previous illegal discrimination.

This is exactly why we need to receive more information from the pensions society. Despite the ruling, there is no information available to decide on a course of action. Standing by to get screwed over whilst other public sector areas have full union support to push for their membership doesnít wash.

Last edited by VinRouge; 16th Jan 2020 at 11:56.
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 11:46
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Originally Posted by downsizer
It's only going to be "fixed" for those still in.
I heard the same but found it unfathomable as no date or reason was given.

As for the dates, were we counted as 'still in' when the first tribunal sat?

Or still in when the first tribunal decided against the Government - ie Jan 2017?

Or the first appeal - Jan 2018?

Or some arbitrary date in the future?

I was still in for the judicial rulings against the government, but have since left. Am I 'still in' for the purposes of the pension change and who gets to decide that those immediately impacted by the changes are not going to be offered a choice?

It is all very odd.

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Old 16th Jan 2020, 12:28
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Originally Posted by VinRouge
So, despite the original change being potentially illegal, in terms of discrimination, there will be no uplift to restore benefits as was to the level it would have been if I had not been potentially illegally discriminated against?That isnt what is stated via Hansard.

https://www.parliament.uk/business/p...7-15/HCWS1725/

interestingly enough, the language differed somewhat between what we are being told and what has been legally agreed.

Also interesting to note that the FBU are additionally seeking damages for their members due to the impact of the previous illegal discrimination.

This is exactly why we need to receive more information from the pensions society. Despite the ruling, there is no information available to decide on a course of action. Standing by to get screwed over whilst other public sector areas have full union support to push for their membership doesn’t wash.
I can only go off what I heard mate. They were categorical that those that had left between '15 and the present wouldn't get fixed. Whatever the fix may be. Take it with a pinch of salt. They could of course be using that line to keep people in.

And in my case it works because although I plan to PVR, I would be better off on full '75 rather than the mix of 75/15, so I plan to wait to see the outcomes.
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 12:31
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Originally Posted by Just This Once...
I heard the same but found it unfathomable as no date or reason was given.

As for the dates, were we counted as 'still in' when the first tribunal sat?

Or still in when the first tribunal decided against the Government - ie Jan 2017?

Or the first appeal - Jan 2018?

Or some arbitrary date in the future?

I was still in for the judicial rulings against the government, but have since left. Am I 'still in' for the purposes of the pension change and who gets to decide that those immediately impacted by the changes are not going to be offered a choice?

It is all very odd.
As it was explained to me, and I caveat that anyone who fully believes any of these propaganda briefs is foolish, anyone who has left between the change coming in in 15 and the present day won't get fixed. The suggestion between the lines was that for those out, it would be too difficult.
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 14:16
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downsizer
I don't doubt what you and others heard, or the willingness for the MoD to try something really stupid. Thankfully we have an unchallenged and final judgement in that all of us that were forced on to AFPS15 from a previous scheme were subject of an 'unlawful' act of discrimination. Not sure how the MoD could possibly justify not correcting the pensions of all those subject to the unlawful act.

My take on this is simple, the forced move on to AFPS15 terms did not happen. The MoD have already had fun correcting my pension numerous times due to their errors, omissions and the impact of the delayed pay rises on pensionable salary. I suspect this will be yet-another-change in due course.
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 15:14
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Originally Posted by downsizer
I can only go off what I heard mate. They were categorical that those that had left between '15 and the present wouldn't get fixed. Whatever the fix may be. Take it with a pinch of salt. They could of course be using that line to keep people in.

And in my case it works because although I plan to PVR, I would be better off on full '75 rather than the mix of 75/15, so I plan to wait to see the outcomes.
VMT for the info. My thoughts with retention are allied to yours. Was this a verbal brief or has MoD had the audacity to commit this to writing? (PM welcome)

It cost FBU 495K to set a massive legal precedent. I bet you could crowdfund that in under a month. Personal losses due to 15ís illegal introduction add up to over 150K alone.

Last edited by VinRouge; 16th Jan 2020 at 18:07.
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 15:19
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Hindsight

Maybe we all should have voted for a Corbyn government. He was going to find 50 odd billion for the WASPI women. A mere 4 billion for a few public sector pensions would have been easy.

BV
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 18:08
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Originally Posted by downsizer
As it was explained to me, and I caveat that anyone who fully believes any of these propaganda briefs is foolish, anyone who has left between the change coming in in 15 and the present day won't get fixed. The suggestion between the lines was that for those out, it would be too difficult.
If that is truly what they are saying then the MOD better prepared to be laughed out of court. Iím no legal expert but I donít think the excuse of ďitís too difficultĒ would go down very well in front of a judge!

and do the MOD think that the many thousands of us that have left will just shrug our shoulders and walk away because itís too difficult! I think the next few years will be interesting!

Now where do I sign up to the group lawsuit for compensation from all this mess!
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Old 16th Jan 2020, 18:39
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Originally Posted by VinRouge
VMT for the info. My thoughts with retention are allied to yours. Was this a verbal brief or has MoD had the audacity to commit this to writing? (PM welcome)

It cost FBU 495K to set a massive legal precedent. I bet you could crowdfund that in under a month. Personal losses due to 15ís illegal introduction add up to over 150K alone.
This conversation took place after the verbal brief when I corned the Wing Co and asked him direct, explaining my circumstance. His advice was to hold fire for the reasons I gave...make of that what you will, but I don't trust them at all not to pull that.
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Old 18th Jan 2020, 04:49
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Timelines and Recompense

Firstly, itís fantastic, but not unexpected, that this issue will ďeventuallyď be resolved. I havenít left yet, but have taken my option and leave as a Regular in a little over 8 months after 16 years. I know what I would have received with a 16 year pension because the figures are available via the Pension Tables online and I can use the online calculator to work out the currently expected figure (both Lump Sum and Pension).

The system acts as though this wasnít predictable, yet many of us predicted in 2014 that the changes were not Legal ones.

Is there anyone actually using a solicitor to fight for their case? I ask because, instead of doing my own thing with my own solicitor, Iíd be willing to fight for recompense as soon as practicable instead of waiting for an indeterminate period of time; itís un my interest to do so.

For info, the difference for me is over 21K Lump Sum and 7-8K per year on my pension; thatís worth fighting for right?

Finally, I find it difficult to believe that those who have left already are not going to be recompensed. What date applies?
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