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Forces Pension Society: MoD pension management 'poor form'

Service personnel could lose 12 per cent of their pension on average, the Forces Pension Society has warned:

Major General John Moore-Bick told defencemanagement.com that the Ministry of Defence are not looking after pensions properly and that linking pensions with CPI could mean a Sergeant losing £91,000 of their pension entitlement and a Lieutenant Colonel losing £178,000.

Moore-Bick, who is general secretary of the armed forces pension society said in an exclusive interview with defencemanagement.com that treating armed forces pensions in the same way as other public sector pensions is not appropriate.

"We and the British Legion and the armed forces pay review body are pretty unammused that the government has put armed forces pensions along with the other public sector pensions into the Hutton review."

He said that the armed forces are in a unique position. "Because it's a young person's business many of them take their pension at the age of 40," he said. "The way that the next 45 years bears on that pension is harder than the rest of the public sector."

Moore-Bick also said that armed forces pensions have more to them than most. "Armed forces pensions aren't just pension schemes, they are manning schemes, they get you in, they get you out, they provide life insurance while you are in. They do far more and are far more cunningly conceived than most other pension schemes.

"They have now been lumped in with everybody else's in the Hutton review and that is poor form on the part of the Ministry of Defence."

The general said that members of the armed forces hit by cuts to pensions are likely to have other sources of income, with many retraining after leaving the forces. He also said that the higher ranks are likely to be hit the hardest.

Moore-Bick said that the decision to include armed forces pensions in the Hutton review is a case of "the armed forces being caught up in all of the other public sector row going on."

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