Read the Testimonies of Family Members of The Unpensionables – What they feel about the treatment of their partners, sons, brothers.

Wife of Unpensionable

As the wife of an Army major being made redundant in June 2012 I can only say that I am disgusted and angry by the treatment we have received. My husband will be just a few weeks from reaching his immediate pension point and we are being cheated out of a significant sum of money, although this has never been acknowledged by the Goverment. Yes, we will receive a lump sum but this is nowhere near what my husband would have received if he were allowed to work those few extra weeks. I have given up years of my life supporting my husband through his postings, moving to two different countries and various locations in England. I have not been able to sustain my professional career as a result of these moves and so my wage earnings and my pension contributions have had to suffer as a result of my husband’s job; moving for postings is a requirement of his job…the needs of the Army always come first, the family second. The expectation from us has been that the significant financial disadvantages (amongst all the other social, family and emotional disadvantages) of being a military family would be recompensed by the pension my husband would receive when he left. This pension would allow him to gain a mortgage and would provide a small level of financial security at a time when he would need to start out on a second career, it would also help make up for my effective loss of pension. This is what my husband was promised when he signed up all those years ago…and he was not told anything different until the redundancies started recently.

Our world and plans have been taken away from us. My husband will have no job, no house and no pension next year. He has a family to support and he has done nothing wrong. He has served numerous extremely dangerous tours of duty during his time in the Army. I have suffered years of struggling on my own with small children asking “where is daddy?” when he has been away on tour. How are we being repaid for these difficult years of LOYAL SERVICE? Those in high level Government and Army positions are demonstrating an extreme lack of moral courage in standing up for solider’s rights and paying them what they deserve for their loyalty. There is absolutely no sign of the military covenant being upheld.

Unfortunately, I am not surprised that my husband and his cohort, along with other long serving members of the army, have been targeted for redundancy. These groups were identified by the MOD as they are obviously close to reaching pensionable age. This was done months before the actual names of people were selected. The names did not matter to the MOD…just the money…the maximum they can save. Very crafty tactics, carried out with smoke and mirrors so people do not notice. I am sure those adding up the figures worked out long ago that stopping people reaching pension points, even by days, makes big savings…. What those people did not consider was the unique moral agreements that were promised and that these promises now mean nothing. A solider can still be asked to give up his or her life in the line or duty…the solider should just not expect any financial agreements to be honoured by the MOD in return.

Remember, there are two massive rounds of redundancies to come…what is allowed to happen this time will only be expanded on next time to save even more money. Civil servants will get gongs for saving the most money they can….military families will be the ones to really suffer

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Wife of unpensionable

“Devastated, insulted and complete disbelief.  It was not just the implementation of a policy it was complete betrayal.  We were not opposed to the redundancy policy but the manner and the lack of consideration into the pension issue was simply unbelievable. To rub salt into the wound the lack of understanding by those who apparently ordered the policy and continued ignorance by those who could rectify it is equal to cowardice.  These are supposedly the leaders of our military and government, they preach values and standards and say it is for the best yet they target some of the most battle hardened soldiers since WW2 quoting policy and rules as reasons why they can not change their minds.  It’s about time they showed a bit of moral integrity and did what is right.

The implications are massive.  No pension equals no stability.  The pension is the key funding for securing a mortgage on discharge.  It is what we have all planned for.  Without it schools, house options and future employment options have all been thrown in the air,  We have now had to reassess our future.

All we want is the award of the pension or the opportunity to serve until we reach it.”

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Wife of Unpensionable

When I found out how much my husband would lose financially I felt ashamed of how he had been treated by a government who would expect him to make the ultimate sacrifice if necessary, I feel he has been betrayed. I was extremely apprehensive about our financial future as a family particularly as I had left my job to accompany him on a posting to Cyprus and we had a 6 month old daughter.
We will be greatly financially disadvantaged by this decision. We were under the impression that …….. pension would compensate for my massively reduced pension and greatly reduced earning power, both of which have resulted from my accompanying him in his work during our married lives. We are considering moving abroad, the sense of betrayal we both feel as a result of my husband’s redundancy is a large deciding factor in this. If we stay in the UK we will probably have to sell our family home in order to move to an area where we can both find work.
I would like my husband to be able to serve on in the army until he qualifies for his pension. Alternatively I would like my husband to receive the proportion of his pension to which he is entitled (over 95%) from the date he is made redundant.

Please Sign the Petition:

Mother of Unpensionable

1.  What did you feel when you realised how much your son was going to lose in terms of pension?

Shock, horror that the Army could disregard their covenant with the Forces by making redundant senior war-experienced officers within one year of pension qualification.

2.  How is this going to impact on his family life?

Having signed on as a regular (until 55 years of age) his family’s dreams and aspirations have been shattered.   No consideration has been given to family welfare i.e. schooling, their daughter will have attended 4 primary schools and is not yet 7 yrs. old and 7 moves in 8 years of marriage.

3.  What do you want done about it?

Extend service so as to complete 16 years  OR   reduce qualifying period to 15 years.

Sister of Unpensionable

The impact of my brother’s redundancy across the whole family has been huge – we are a small, close family, so what affects him affects us all. My feelings have swayed between shock, anger that he can be treated like this, frustration that no one seems to care and relief that perhaps he is better off out of the whole system.

I am a primary school teacher, therefore not overly familiar of the army’s procedures, but have seen my brother give the army his best, and at times, his family have suffered from this. I know he has not done it to get special thanks, but now the way he is being treated, it is not what he signed up for. Goalposts have been moved with no warning or discussion.

The impact now for his 2 young children, is that their schooling is going to be disrupted during the school academic year YET again, and they are both only young. Being a teacher myself, there is a limited as to how often a child can move schools with little disruption. Why should the children suffer due to poor decisions made by other people?

I think the decent thing would be for my brother and his colleagues is to receive their full pension entitlement, as a minimum, with some compensation for the disruption that is has caused all families – at the very least.

Please Sign the Petition:

Parents of Unpensionable

First of all may I say that it was not the question of our sons loss of pension which caused us immediate concern,it was the fact the career that he trained and planed for from his days at school through his times in the army cadet force, ………… university OTC and Sandhurst at the end of which he was offered a regular commission had been taken from him.

It was after this initial shock that we appreciated how much our son was going to miss out financialy, because he was 206 days short of sixteen years attributable service.

Our son feels devistated and betrayed by the loss of the career to which he was dedicated. But as his parents also feel apprehensive as to the financial loss that will be suffered by our son,wife and two small children. Surely this will have signifcant effect on the recruitment of high quality personel to the services in the future?

If the attributable service was changed to fifteen years in this case it would perhaps ameliorate the financial loss to be suffered but will of course not reduce the distress caused by a ruined career. Perhaps in these days of computers it would not be beyond the wit of man to calculate graduated pensions for those who have been cast aside after having commited themselves to the service of their country?

Please Sign the Petition:

In-laws of Unpensionable

In-laws of unpensionable
1. Angry and dismayed at the nasty cheap efforts by which the Tories are trying to save money and upset at the impact that it will have on my son-in-law and his young family.

2. Makes the future very uncertain after a period of stability whilst serving and concern for future employment. This is not a good time to be forced to leave given the economic climate and jobs prospects.

3. A total re-think on defence policy which is not strategic, focussing on all aspects of military cutbacks in what are uncertain times

Father of Unpensionable

1.      What did you feel when you realised how much you/your son/grandson etc was going to lose in terms of pension?
I was and am thoroughly disgusted with the Government, the Ministry of Defence [Uniformed and Civilian] and the senior management of the Army who think they can without a care deprive personnel of what they were promised in their “terms of engagement” on joining the Army.

2.      How is this going to impact on his/her/family lives?
At the outset they have to cope with the turmoil of being made redundant but that is something they will deal with as competent people. But the main problem will be the loss of finance which they will almost certainly have planned to use to maintain their standard of living and to deal with the unknown at this time of great financial difficulty for all and with unemployment running at over 2 million. Future employment is by no means certain, indeed it is a great concern for all.

3.      What do you want done about it?
I have already registered my concerns with my local MP – Mrs Claire Perry. I have had a reply from her with a letter from Alan Nisbet the Private Secretary to Andrew Robathan MP. I do not believe that Claire Perry understands anything about what is going on and her letter to me misses the specific point about the pension issue. As one might expect she offers help but not in any meaningful way and blames all the financial ills on the last government! Similarly the pension issue is sidelined in Mr Nisbet’s letter. I attach copies of them all.
I would like to see a positive stand made by all those affected and a clear message passed to the government. As we know the Chancellor has had to back down on a number of ill conceived ideas in the past 2 years so he needs to do so again. I think we should also be mindful of what is going on in the RN and RAF, do they have similar problems? If so then everyone should join together over this.

I am very happy for you to use my name etc. As a retired Naval Officer I am in receipt of my Naval Pension and I see that this Robathan fellow’s title is ‘Minister for Defence Personnel Welfare and Veterans’, he should be warned that should he start to meddle Veterans’ pensions he may find himself in even deeper water!

If I can assist in any way please let me know.

With kind regards and thanks, wishing you every success in your mission,

Ian S H Richards

Commander Royal Navy [Rtd

Please Sign the Petition:

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