File photo of British troops.
File photo of British troops.
Money And Finance

Armed Forces pay rise: Who is getting an increase and how much?

File photo of British troops.
File photo of British troops.

Some military personnel are to receive a pay increase, it has been announced.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said that all Armed Forces personnel earning less than £24,000 a year – regular and reserve – will receive a pay rise of £250.

The boost will be implemented from next month's salaries and will be back backdated to 1 April 2021.

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The announcement follows a July report from the independent Armed Forces Pay Review Body (AFPRB) on 2021 pay for service personnel up to and including 1-star rank.

Mr Wallace said the Government went against the AFPRB's recommendation to exclude X-Factor – a pensionable addition to basic military pay that recognises the special conditions of service – from the 'low earner' salary calculation.

Instead, the £250 uplift is for personnel whose earnings are below the £24,000 threshold with their X-Factor pay factored in.

"The Government recognises that there is a further discussion to be had over the use of the X-Factor for pay and salary comparability work," Mr Wallace added.

It was confirmed in the Chancellor's Budget speech in March that most British military personnel will go without an annual pay rise this year.

A public sector pay freeze was announced in November 2020, with the AFPRB then formally asked in March to delay its next recommendation on salaries to ministers.

Anonymous British soldier
Despite the announcement, most military personnel will not be receiving a pay rise this year (Picture: MOD).

But when Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the freeze last year, he said public sector workers earning less than £24,000 a year would still get a pay increase of at least £250 in the next financial year.

It was thought the move would mean the majority of Armed Forces recruits and junior ranks would get a pay boost.

Mr Wallace praised the work of the military during this financial year, saying there has been "no waning in the important outputs of our Armed Forces".

"From continuing to support the national response to coronavirus, to the exceptional work of all those involved in the Afghanistan evacuations, all whilst maintaining our critical national Defence outputs.

"It is for this reason I am pleased that, despite the unprecedented impact the pandemic has had on the nation’s finances, the Government has been able to act in the spirit of the AFPRB’s recommendations and demonstrate its commitment to looking after those who look after us."

In response to the news, shadow defence secretary John Healey said: "Over the last year our Armed Forces have shown just how indispensable they are to the nation's security, from airlifting British nationals out of Afghanistan to driving NHS ambulances in Wales. They're respected worldwide for their professionalism, yet rewarded by UK ministers with a real pay cut.

"Forces pay has fallen back for nearly a decade, now they face a further real pay cut. Ministers are failing our frontline forces.

"Instead of fighting their corner with the Chancellor, the Defence Secretary has fallen into line to freeze pay and give the Government’s minimum £250 payment for those earning less than £24,000.

"This continues a decade of Tory decline for services personnel who've seen forces pay, numbers and morale all down since 2010."

In July 2020, it was announced British military personnel were to receive an above-inflation pay rise of 2%, starting in September and backdated to April of that year.

It followed a salary increase for personnel in 2019, when service members were given a 2.9% pay uplift. 

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