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MOD announces proposals for changes to military pensions

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced that reforms to military service pensions, which are set to come into effect from April 2015, will be subject to consultation before they come into force.

The changes will apply to all service personnel under the age of 45, with the pension age for armed forces members rising from 55 to 60 under government proposals.

The Forces Pensions Society (FPS) heaped praise on the reforms saying that they were "certainly not all bad news" and offered service personnel a "very good deal".

The society's general secretary, Major General John Moore-Bick, added: "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."

The current Armed Forces scheme is divided into two categories, for those joined between 1975 and 2005 and those who joined after this period. Under both categories service personnel would have a normal pension age of 55.

However, just 2% of those who serve in the Armed Forces do so until the standard pension age, according to a spokesperson for the MoD.

The new scheme will move from the current final-salary versions to one that is based on a career average.Pensions earned up to the roll out of the scheme in 2015 will still be payable at the current retirement ages.

Although the option of early retirement will still be available under the new scheme, where a lower level of pension or lump sum is paid to service men and women aged 40 or over, the length of service need to be eligible for the scheme will rise from the current 18 years to 20 years.

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