Ministry of Defence

By partnering with Thomsons, the MOD upgraded their paper-based pension statements by creating a secure, anonymous platform which could be accessed anywhere in the world. The results included cost savings and a hugely successful recruitment and retention tool.

The challenge

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) wanted to upgrade their paperbased pension statements ahead of the introduction of a new Armed Force Pension Scheme in 2015. The MOD wanted to ensure their personnel could gain a full understanding of their pension entitlements. The MOD contracted Thomsons Online Benefits to deliver this major upgrade.

The challenge was to create a platform which would be secure, anonymous, and accessible anywhere in the world. The tool also needed to be easy to use, given the extremely complex employee population.

More than a simple transition from paper to online pensions, the project involved incorporating thousands of different pension schemes with more logic rules than any other scheme in the UK.


The solution

The UK Armed Forces Pension Calculator enabled all 235,000 personnel, plus over 1m veterans/retirees and their families, to calculate their pension entitlement, and to run scenarios showing the impact of specific career decisions. The tool allows the MOD to run a streamlined, cost-effective service that engages personnel.

Thomsons created a platform that was accessible in 60+ countries on land, air, ships and submarines. It was designed so nothing personally identifiable is stored, enabling personnel to access the calculator privately and make informed choices.


The result

Within 5 days of launch, the calculator saw more than 60,000 hits, and to date 4.1m projections have been completed. The solution is anonymous, accessible, accurate, secure and easily updated.

The solution is extremely cost-efficient, saving the MOD £37.5m to date. It is also exceptionally user-friendly: the intuitive interface, videos and FAQs ensure no training is needed for users. Perhaps most importantly, the tool has highlighted the very favourable nature of the current and future Armed Forces Pension Schemes, acting as a hugely successful recruitment and retention tool.

Paul Bell

WG CDR, Pay & Pensions

The impact is immense. All service personnel with internet access, wherever they’re based in the world, can readily obtain a simple, yet accurate, forecast of their pension entitlements, despite the complexities of the pension scheme. The universally positive feedback that we’ve received on the new tool highlights its exceptional quality and ease of use, with personnel particularly appreciating the ability to see the impact on their pension of following different career paths.

The results? The numbers speak for themselves

Hits within five days of launching

4.1 million
Unique uses have completed a full calculation

Saved by MOD and the taxpayer

Number 1
Google-ranked UK public pension calculator

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