Why is Length of Service so short?

gh39opfr

Newbie
I would expect a full working career to be 45 years, seeing as the UK retirement age is 65. 47 years of service would be required to retire on a full military pension. However, after looking through some Freedom of Information requests, it seems that extraordinarily few make it anywhere near this length of service. Only 31% make it to 20 years of service, 15% to 30 years, and precisely zero get beyond 37 years. This is well short of a 45 year working career, or the 47 needed to retire on a full military pension.

Either no one wants to stay in for the duration of their working life, or some do but are being told "thanks, but you're no longer needed" at what time I would consider to be mid-career. Both these options are concerning. Either I'm joining an organisation in which no one wants to stay for very long, or I'm joining an organisation that will tell me to piss off at some point.

I think I'd at least like to have the option for a long-term career in the Navy, but that doesn't seem possible (or perhaps not desirable) given these statistics.

Does anyone have any insights on this?
 

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pompeyexpat

War Hero
You don’t need to serve 47 years to retire on a ‘full military pension’. The military provides an immediate pension much earlier than that and at an age where it’s perfectly possible to go in and have a rewarding second career.

Why do some leave after a relatively short time? For many of the same reasons people leave other jobs - it’s not as if everyone else out there is starting a job after leaving school/college/university and staying at that job for 45 years.

And your assertion you can’t serve longer than 37 years is flawed. I’ve done 30 so far and have 12 left, and I’m not alone.
 

Sumo

War Hero
I asked similar questions when in my 20s, the chief who was retiring at 40 said wait until you're 40, your DO is the same age as your kids, its time to go, he was right as I reached 40,it was time to leave, with half a pension starting as I left.
 
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D108

Midshipman
Some of us would have loved a full career, mine was sadly cut short due to injuries sustained ITLOD


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

buffersduffer

Lantern Swinger
I would expect a full working career to be 45 years, seeing as the UK retirement age is 65. 47 years of service would be required to retire on a full military pension. However, after looking through some Freedom of Information requests, it seems that extraordinarily few make it anywhere near this length of service.
Each to their own, but depends what job you do. Some military jobs wear you out so do 22 and take the pension.

Other military jobs my gran could do and she died 20 years ago, RAF for example, a uniform for those who haven’t got the bottle to join the Senior Service ⚓️
 

Taztiff

War Hero
Did 22 (plus boys time ;)), offered extra but realised I'd was missing the kids growing up and also wanted to take advantage of being young at 40 for a second career. Main thing was family.
Plus, as mentioned, got pension to offset wage / fund other stuff (kids benefited from that!).
 

Waspie

War Hero
Did 22 (plus boys time ;)), offered extra but realised I'd was missing the kids growing up and also wanted to take advantage of being young at 40 for a second career. Main thing was family.
Plus, as mentioned, got pension to offset wage / fund other stuff (kids benefited from that!).
Bang on. Mirrors my reasoning. Plus why give the f*ckers another 20+ years to try and kill you!!
Shot at locked up by bad guys gunnery systems - heart rate through the roof. Maybe for a TV seal but for this member of the human race - Nah!! 22+boys time. You had yer chance to kill me!!
 

fishhead

War Hero
I'm always very wary of citing statistics to make statement. While I don't doubt the veracity of the statistics provided as always they never tell the whole story. I.e. Is there a breakdown of which branches(jobs) make up the list of long stayers or indeed short stayers. Not all RN jobs are similar, in fact most specialisations are very different in what they offer for the more senior ratings and the older you get the less you are prepared to be messed about so you leave to look for calmer waters.
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
I did just over 33 years and got asked to do another 5 but crawling around a submarine at 50+ just didn't appeal, plus it would probably be Faslamabad and I live in Cornwall.
 

Taztiff

War Hero
Not all RN jobs are similar,
Interestingly though, year the 2OE signal came out that I was on, out of 5 CWEA(WD)'s there were 3 Seawolf maintainers and 3 small ships WEO's. I was the one who was both. Felt a bit guilty saying no, but family came first. Sometimes I regret it but actually don't think I would have done any different if had the choice again. 4 years at first job outside, 16 years at this one and both great. Still count myself as matelot though.
 

Alfacharlie

War Hero
Interestingly though, year the 2OE signal came out that I was on, out of 5 CWEA(WD)'s there were 3 Seawolf maintainers and 3 small ships WEO's. I was the one who was both. Felt a bit guilty saying no, but family came first. Sometimes I regret it but actually don't think I would have done any different if had the choice again. 4 years at first job outside, 16 years at this one and both great. Still count myself as matelot though.
Once a matelot, I say.
 

Chris P

Lantern Swinger
OP, ask yourself how many people stay in one job in civvy street for their whole working life, you change, circumstances change for the good or bad and very little stays the same..
 

Waspie

War Hero
OP, ask yourself how many people stay in one job in civvy street for their whole working life, you change, circumstances change for the good or bad and very little stays the same..
Fair point there. When I did my civvie management training in the late 80's, they were looking at a turn round of 2 to 3 years for the average person staying in a single job. Which I thought was very short. Myself, one job for 24.5 years, second was 20 years 64 days. But looking at one of my two sons, he seems to stay with the average I was quoted. He changes employment about every three years! (He's the clever one - degree and whopping salary). My other son is like me, gone for longevity and the big pension!!
Mind you, statistics. You can prove anything with stats!!! Friend did a degree course in the subject. He was telling me one weeks he had to prove 'A' with a given set of figures. Week after he had to prove the opposite but still using the same set of figures he was given to prove 'A'. You figure that one out?
 
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