Pension and compensation schemes for the armed forces, veterans and their families

This advice applies to England. See advice for See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Scotland, See advice for Wales

About this information

This information applies to:

  • serving members of the armed forces, including reservists - this includes members of the Territorial Army, Royal Naval Reserve (RNR), the Royal Marines Reserve (RMR) and the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR)

  • people who used to serve in the armed forces including reservists (veterans)

  • the dependants of serving members of the armed forces and veterans

Armed forces pension schemes

Pension schemes provide payments to you after you've left the armed forces or when you retire.

The amount of your pension will depend on:

  • your rank

  • your length of service

  • how old you were when you joined

You can use the Armed forces pensions calculator to get a forecast of your pension.

Your armed forces pension does not affect your State Pension.

You can find out about your State Pension on GOV.UK.

Serving members pensions

The Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2015 (AFPS 15) was introduced on 1 April 2015.

If you're a serving member of the armed forces (including the reserve forces) your pension will have been transfered to AFPS 15. This is unless you qualified for transitional protection, which meant you could stay with one of the previous schemes.

You can read about AFPS 15 and find information about previous armed forces pension schemes on GOV.UK.

Veterans pensions

You can find guidance on pensions for veterans on GOV.UK.

War Widow's or War Widower's pension

If your husband, wife or civil partner died as a result of serving in the armed forces, you may get a War Widow’s or War Widower's pension.

This is based on your husband, wife or civil partner's pay.

You can read a guide about the War Widow(er) pension on GOV.UK.

For more information, contact Veterans UK. You can find their contact details in the Further help section.

For more information on benefits when someone has died, see Extra money you can get when someone dies.

Compensation schemes

Compensation schemes are schemes that will help you if you're injured while serving. They will also help you if you're a dependant of a member of the armed forces who died in service.

You can read more about compensation schemes on GOV.UK.

The schemes you may be able to use depend on:

  • your type of service

  • when you served and for how long

  • the type of help you need

If you have health problems because of being in the Armed Forces

If you have health problems because of being in the Armed Forces, you may be entitled to payments under the war pension scheme or the Armed Forces compensation scheme.

You can read more about the war pension scheme and the Armed Forces compensation scheme on GOV.UK. 

Further help

Seafarers' Advice & Information Line (SAIL)

SAIL is a Citizens Advice service that can help serving and veteran Royal Navy personnel with claims for pensions and compensation. 

Seafarers' Advice & Information Line (SAIL)

Phone: free on 0800 160 1842 (Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm - or you can leave a message outside these hours)



Royal British Legion

The Royal British Legion can give advice on pensions and help with making your claim.

Telephone: Legionline: 0808 802 8080


Legion Scotland (Royal British Legion Scotland)

Legion Scotland can give help and advice on Armed Forces pensions in Scotland. For more information contact:

Legion Scotland

New Haig House

Logie Green Road



Telephone: 0131 550 1583



War Pensions and Compensation Service

For information about War Disablement Pensions and War Widow or Widower's Pension in England and Wales, contact:

War Pensions and Compensation Service

The Royal British Legion

Haig House

199 Borough High Street



Telephone: 020 3207 2164 or 020 3207 2168 or 020 3207 2169

Fax: 020 3207 2218

Email: through the Royal British Legion website

War Pensions and Compensation Team

For information about compensation claims in England and Wales, contact:

War Pensions and Compensation Team

The Royal British Legion

Haig House

199 Borough High Street



Telephone: 020 3207 2163

Fax: 020 3207 2218

Email: through the Royal British Legion website

Veterans UK

Veterans UK gives advice on Armed Forces pensions and deal with claims for war pensions and compensation.

Its website has a lot of other useful information for veterans and their families, including on welfare support and other specialist support programmes that are available to veterans. It provides links to many other veterans organisations.

Veterans UK also runs a free helpline for veterans, which gives advice on many topics.

For more information you can contact them at:

Veterans UK

Ministry of Defence


Thornton Cleveleys



Veterans UK helpline: 0808 1914 2 18 (Monday to Thursday from 7:30am to 6:30pm: Friday from 7:30am to 5:00pm)

Textphone: 01253 866 043

Bereavement line: 0800 169 3458



Forces Pension Society

The Forces Pension Society can give advice about Armed Forces pensions.

You can find out more information by contacting them at:

The Forces Pension Society

68 South Lambeth Road



Telephone: 020 7820 9988

Fax: 020 7820 7583



Aftercare Service – Northern Ireland

The Aftercare Service provides medical, vocational, welfare and benevolence support to former full-time and part-time UDR and R IRISH (HS) soldiers and their families.

You can telephone one of their field teams:

North (Coleraine) 02892 260615

East (Holywood) 02890 420266

West (Enniskillen) 02892 260114

South (Portadown) 02890 260044


Defence Relationship Management

Defence Relationship Management give support and advice to reservists and their employers, including pension advice.

You can find out how to contact Defence Relationship Management on GOV.UK.

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