Continuing criticisms of redundancy selection criteria
There has been further criticism of the selection process in the current redundancy tranche, resulting in some non-volunteers being made redundant a short time away from qualifying for an immediate pension under AFPS.
The Daily Telegraph cites the case of a 40-year-old sergeant serving in the REME who was only three days away from completing 22 years and qualifying for an immediate pension pot worth £108,000. He will now have to wait until he is 65 to receive the pension.
A number of parents or other relatives have been in touch with the media, an interesting reflection on the restrictions imposed on serving personnel, as there is no good reason for preventing redundant personnel from publicly discussing such matters themselves.
The Director of Army Manning says that "Proximity to the date at which a pension would be paid" was not a consideration for redundancy selection.” Another point is that the redundancy payment to someone so close to their immediate pension point would itself be substantial, so it may be difficult to argue that such individuals have been unfairly selected to save money.
We do not see any case for altogether excluding from compulsory redundancy individuals who are approaching their IP point, which would be unfair to others slightly younger. Is there a case for delaying their redundancy instead? it might be best to do the maths carefully before asking for such a change.
It does not help that there has been a long history of perceived injustice, such as the compulsory redundancy of pre-1975 other ranks in the knowledge that pensions for such individuals were about to be introduced.
An officially accepted* and effective* staff association would go a long way in restoring trust, and establishing whether an injustice is real or perceived.
* The two go together!
The situation being what it is, what can BAFF do on behalf of personnel affected by unjust redundancy decisions?
No evidence has yet been produced to us that there has been unfairness in the detailed implementation of the redundancy scheme. The problem has been created by the economic situation, exacerbated by mismanagement of the defence budget, but we accept that the armed forces must continue to recruit in order to maintain age and promotion profiles.
However successful many will be in their future careers, redundancy can be a kind of bereavement for those affected and their families, their lives turned upside down. For those who are soldiering on, they have seen their comrades' careers cut short. Good experienced people are going.
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