News story: A new pay model for the Armed Forces


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In order to create a remuneration offer for our Armed Forces that is modern, simple and credible, and which attracts and retains motivated people to deliver our operational commitments, core pay will be reformed from 1 April 2016.

The current pay system, introduced in 2001, was the first integrated ‘tri-Service’ pay system. This was a major advance at the time, but is now seen as overly complex with significant shortcomings and inefficiencies that have caused dissatisfaction among Service Personnel.

The reforms to core pay will apply to all Armed Forces Regulars and Reservists up to the ranks of Commodore, Brigadier and Air Commodore. The new pay model will be both simplified and fairer.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

These reforms will deliver a simpler, better and fairer system of pay for our Armed Forces. They will enable us to better target pay to skills and ensure that we continue to recruit and retain the right people.

In introducing a new pay system it is important that we recognise and value the contribution of Service personnel who work so hard to keep us safe both at home and abroad. This is not a cost-saving exercise, and there will be pay protection to ensure that no Service personnel take a pay cut on transition to the new model. Pay reform is integral to modernising the overall offer to Service personnel and will sit alongside New Employment Model (NEM) initiatives such as Forces Help to Buy, the Tenancy Deposit Loan Scheme, the introduction of flexible working options, and employment support to Service spouses.

Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nicholas Houghton, said:

Pay is a key element of the package that attracts and retains skilled, motivated individuals within the Armed Forces. This new pay model, which both meets the needs of the Services and offers a good deal for our people, has my whole-hearted support.

Rank will continue to be the main determinant of pay and incremental progression will remain a key feature of the new system.

For Other Ranks where we require a breadth of trades, there will also be four pay supplements which will better differentiate core pay between them, removing the illogical characteristics of the current system. The model will dramatically reduce the number of possible core pay scenarios from 128 to just four. Crucially for Service personnel this will provide a pay system that will be easier to understand and allow individuals to more accurately predict their future pay.

The model has been developed with the Services, and welcomed by Service Chiefs.

First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, said:

These pay reforms are a good package for the Royal Navy, and have my full support. They are a simpler and more straightforward system for our men and women and, as part of the New Employment Model, will ensure we can continue to recruit and retain the very best people.

Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Nicholas Carter, said:

The NEM Pay Model announced today is good news for the Army. It is both contemporary and fair, and it underlines the Government’s commitment to the Armed Forces. It provides appropriate rewards for our soldiers and officers. It is an improvement on its predecessor and will enable the Army to target pay more effectively by trade. It is the right model for today’s Army.

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshall Sir Andrew Pulford, said:

I commend the new pay model to you; it removes the irritants from the current Pay 2000 structure, retains incremental pay and continues to recognise skills and experience. Crucially, pay protection will ensure no one will suffer a pay cut on implementation. I am pleased that we are now able to implement a modern and competitive remunerative package which, together with the wider benefits that form part of the offer, reinforces the value the Royal Air Force places on people.

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