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Military pension age to rise to 60

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by Jan Harris
Military pension age to rise to 60

Members of the Armed Forces may have to wait until they are 60 to be able to claim their pensions under the government’s planned pension reforms.

Military personnel are traditionally able to claim their pension at the age of 55, but those currently under the age of 45 could have to wait another five years.

The pension reforms are part of wider efforts by the government to reduce the cost of public sector pensions.

Under the proposals, the pension age for the armed forces will increase from April 2015 and career average schemes will replace the current final salary pension schemes.

Major General John Moore-Bick, the general secretary of The Forces Pensions Society (FPS), said: “We have ensured that armed forces pensions stay towards the top end of pensions in the public sector.

“This does not mean that any people will have to carry on serving until they are 60.”

Personnel aged 40 or over, who wish to retire early, would still be able to take early departure payments, comprising a lump sum and a lower level of pension.

However, while this is currently available to those with at least 18 years of service, the length of service required to be eligible would be increased to 20 years.

The proposals are part of a document produced after consultation with over 17,500 personnel both in the UK and overseas.

When the reforms could into force, all serving personnel will be automatically enrolled unless they are eligible for “transitional protection”.

Meanwhile, private sector employers are due to start automatically enrolling employees in a workplace pension scheme in October, but the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has made an early start.

However, RBS has had a disappointing response to the new system, with 40 per cent of its staff not already in one of its pension schemes, choosing to opt-out.

The bank has between 14,000 and 15,000 employees who are not in an RBS pension scheme, with 6,000 of these opting-out of the auto-enrolment process.

If this is mirrored in other companies when auto-enrolment is rolled-out, it could mean that thousands of workers are still not saving towards their retirement.

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News posted: August 1, 2012

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