A statement by the Forces Pension Society:
Major General John Moore-Bick, General Secretary of the Forces Pension Society issued a statement to coincide with the ‘Day of Action’ strikes planned for 30th November. He said “don’t forget that members of the Armed Forces cannot take strike action. They cannot join trade union activities. Those who serve their country loyally in this unique way forgo many rights others take for granted”.
In addition to their many concerns about operational demands, redundancy and reconfiguration, with all the family turbulence which that portends, Service personnel have widespread uneasiness and worries about pensions and future terms of service, with some elements in common with the rest of the public sector. Contrary to many official statements, military pensions are neither gold-plated, nor free. A Serviceman’s fair rate of pay is reduced or abated, partly in respect of his pension entitlement, the only significant financial recompense he receives for the exceptional risk and hardships of a job in the Armed Forces. Service personnel do not routinely have a clear statement of what they accrue, and they are increasingly subject to rumour and uncertainly as yet another new pension scheme is generated for them.
Furthermore, the Forces Pension Society shares the concerns of public sector workers over the potential downgrading of pensions resulting from the move away from Retail Price Index linking to the Consumer Price Index. For members of the Armed Forces community, this will result in many cases in the loss of tens, even hundreds of thousands of pounds over the life of their pensionable service entitlement. The change is also contrary to the many promises of RPI indexation made in every written publication, given to Service personnel when enlisting in the Armed Forces, and during their subsequent careers.
Therefore the Society sympathises with the concerns of those in the public service sector especially over the change in indexation, even though the Armed Forces community, both serving and retired will not join them in their action.