Pension of the non-Serving Spouse

Spouses of Members of the Armed Forces are to Get a Boost to their State Pension from April 10

Advice from the Department of Work and Pensions

Spouses of members of Her Majesty’s forces on accompanied postings outside the UK could get a State Pension boost from April 2010, but they must remember to take action when the accompanied posting ends.

At any one time. around 15,000 members of Her Majesty’s forces serve outside the UK on accompanied postings.  From 6 April 2010, the Government is offering their wives, husbands and registered civil partners a new National Insurance credit – brought in specifically to fill any gaps in their National Insurance contribution record for the time they are away.

Not claiming this credit could affect their entitlement to certain benefits as well as the State Pension.

Minister for Work and Pensions Bill McKenzie said:
      “In the past, many partners of members of Her Majesty’s forces, have chosen to support their husbands and wives by moving abroad and this has meant they have missed out on State Pension cash in retirement.

      "From April 2010 this will change and the system will be fairer – now both partners will be able to build up a full basic State Pension in their own right, making it more universal and generous.”

Here are five simple points for wives, husbands and registered civil partners to remember so that they can plan ahead with confidence:

  1. Are you claiming Child Benefit while abroad? If so, you will still need to apply for the new National Insurance credit as it will protect not only your future basic State Pension BUT ALSO contribution-based working-age benefits, such as Jobseeker’s Allowance.  
  2. Apply for the credit as soon as your accompanied posting ends, not before.  From 6 April 2010, you can download the application form MODCA1 from www.hmrc.gov.uk  Once filled in remember to get it countersigned by your welfare officer. 
  3.  You can only apply for the credits if you are married or in a registered civil partnership.  If you are an unmarried ‘live-in’ partner then you won’t be eligible.
  4.  Do you currently choose to pay contributions while away to fill you National Insurance gaps?  From April 2010 that may no longer be necessary as those eligible will be covered by the credit.  Make sure you remember to stop paying – we cannot guarantee you will get a refund.
  5.  Even if your husband, wife or registered civil partner leaves the country you are on an accompanied posting to for a training course or an operational tour you will still get the National Insurance credit.  Just don’t forget to apply!


For further information visit  the Directgov website and look for National Insurance credits for Her Majesty’s forces.

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