The Government has asked the Armed Forces Pay Review Body (AFPRB) to conduct the 2019 pay round and submit their report containing their recommendations on the 2019 pay award in early May alongside all other public sector pay review bodies.
This means that the Armed Forces’ pay award for 2019 will be delayed.
Service personnel can be assured that although there will be a delay, any pay award will be backdated to 1 April 2019.
At this time, we do not know when the award will be announced but we will share further information as soon as it is available. There are some useful Q&As below:
2019 Armed Forces Pay Round Q&A
Q. Why are the 2019-20 pay awards going to be delayed?
A. For the 2019-20 pay round, the Government has asked to receive the independent pay review body (PRBs) reports in May 2019. The Government will then carefully consider them and announce final settlements in Summer 2019. It is important to consider recommendations in the round and therefore the Government are aligning the reporting timetables of the review bodies and informing them of this approach. Receiving the reports at the same time will help ensure consistency in approach and fairness to the public sector and the taxpayer.
Q. What will this mean for my pay?
A. Once the pay award is announced, any pay rises will be backdated to 1 Apr 19.
Q. Will the government follow the recommendations of the AFPRB?
A. The Government as a whole always seriously considers the independent recommendations of the AFPRB. For the 2018/2019 pay round, the Government agreed an award that was in the spirit of the AFRPB’s recommendations. This decision enabled the Government to balance the importance of recognising the value and dedication of our Service personnel, whilst ensuring that the Armed Forces remain affordable in the long term. For the 2019/2020 pay round the Government will again need to consider the independent recommendations from the AFPRB whilst taking account of their affordability within the Defence budget.
Q: Does this undermine AFPRB’s independence?
A: The Government as a whole always seriously considers the independent recommendations of the AFPRB, and works closely with them to ensure that they have all the evidence necessary to do their work.
Q: When is the Armed Forces pay award likely to be announced?
A: We do not have a firm date for the announcement yet.
Q: When will the pay award for senior officers be announced?
A: The pay award for senior officers is usually announced later than the main pay award but it is not yet known when this will be.
Q. Does this mean that the pay round will now always be delayed?
A. No, there is no direction from the Government that this will be the new permanent arrangement; however, the MOD is undertaking work to understand the implications of moving the start date of the Pay Year to avoid future problems.
Q. Will this mean I have issues with my pension Annual Allowance again this year?
A. Whilst there remains the potential for a delayed pay award to have similar implications for the publication of pension Annual Allowance letters in January 2020, the MOD is working to mitigate these issues based on the experience of the delay to this year’s pay round.
Q. What will happen to my accommodation charges?
A. Any increases to accommodation charge rates recommended by the AFPRB will also be delayed until the implementation of the pay award, but will be chargeable from 1 April. The same will apply to any increases to Contribution in Lieu of Council Tax (CILOCT) rates.
Any changes to the Banding for Service Family Accommodation, due to the ongoing transition to the Combined Accommodation Assessment System (CAAS), will continue as planned from 1 April.
Q. What does this mean for Medical Officers’ and Dental Officers’ (MODO) Pay?
A. As has been the case since 2017, MODO pay is considered by the AFPRB alongside the main pay award, and hence will be subject to the same delay