We are pleased to announce the launch of our brand-new online community, MyForcesEmployment. This excellent resource provides a collaborative space for our clients to support each other, share their learnings, engage with one another, and access support above and beyond finding that next job. A one-stop shop, MyForcesEmployment allows us to serve our clients better, meeting them where they are.

Whether a Service leaver, veteran, reservist, or family member, MyForcesEmployment offers an extended arm of support for those seeking camaraderie, valuable information, and specific services tailored to their unique needs.


What do clients get access to?

MyForcesEmployment hosts chat groups, exclusive employment articles, extra resources and links out to a wide variety of charity partners.
Chat groups allow our clients to connect with like-minded individuals. Extending across all those we help, MyForcesEmployment provides an open space for all to communicate with their community, those like them, those with differing experiences, and those who have been where they have been.

As always, we strive to give honest, expert advice. Our community provides another avenue for us to support those transitioning and looking to upskill their civilian career. Clients can dive into thought-provoking articles, engaging discussions, and unique resources. With insights from our career consultants and advisors, we can share the wealth of knowledge and ensure no client misses out on our staff’s unique insights, continuing to empower clients throughout their working lives.


A brand-new mentoring hub

MyForcesEmployment also houses our new online mentoring hub. A dedicated platform created to empower our clients as they take the next step in their careers.

Mentoring is a valuable resource we have been pleased to offer to a select group of our clients over the last few years, with great success. Our new online hub allows us to expand this support across the charity, reaching all our clients and attracting more mentors from across a broad mix of sectors to offer their support to the military community.

Transitioning from military to civilian life presents unique challenges. Our mentors understand our clients’ Service careers and can assist in translating skills and experiences into marketable assets, ensuring their mentees thrive in the civilian workforce.

Mentoring is about more than finding the next role. By offering an online mentoring hub, we can provide our clients with a helping hand to build the self-assurance they need to excel. Mentors are vital in empowering our clients to reach their full potential.

Most importantly, mentoring is not just about giving back. Both our clients and mentors have routinely forged valuable connections and grown together.

Former mentor Katherine Jones, Social Value Advisor at Wates Residential, shares her experience with the Forces Employment Charity:

“The value of mentoring programmes is immeasurable and should be encouraged across all industries and sectors. Industry professionals must be able to impart their knowledge, opinions and expertise where possible to ensure that, as a community, we are all growing, sharing and learning. I take part in mentoring programmes to help develop others, explore routes and pathways, problem solve and act as a sounding, impartial and confidential board to an individual. I feel a great sense of pride being a mentor and strive to utilise the opportunity to learn from others and extend my own knowledge and understanding”.


Get involved

Join the conversation and discover a wealth of valuable resources at your fingertips. Register today.

Are you a professional individual with time to give back? We invite you to become a mentor.

Developing opportunities for the whole Armed Forces Community

The Forces Employment Charity’s Careers in Professional Services event saw the ‘Big 4’ come together on 27 September 2023 to welcome Service leavers, reservists, veterans and military family members at PwC UK’s embankment offices in central London. The event welcomed 147 delegates and included a full day of presentations, workshops, exhibition stands and networking drinks. Joining them were leaders from PwC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG, as well as a stand from disaster response charity REACT, brought together to showcase the breadth of roles and opportunities available to the Armed Forces community
This event is an example of how we are working with companies from across industry to encourage “ruthless collaboration” as requested by Johnny Mercer at Veterans Work to improve military pathways into a variety of sectors.

Here’s what various delegates had to say on LinkedIn:

“Fantastic day. Debunked the myths behind the sector and showed how the military skills map across to opportunities in the Big 4. Great panellists and very well put together by Forces Employment Charity.”
“A fantastic day. I was blown away by the information I received throughout the day and having the ability to meet and make contacts with people from the Big 4 was invaluable. Also meeting the FEC and chatting to them and realising that not only can you help me but you can also help my kids as they transition out of Uni life. Great day all round and thank you.”
“A fantastic event that actually provided tangible outputs and tools that could optimise any transition. TY.”
“It was impressive to see the Big 4 collaborating for the benefit of the Armed Forces community. Gems of advice on interview technique, LinkedIn crash courses (pick me up Algorithm!) and headshots. Recommend the next iteration to anyone leaving.”

So, what were the benefits of attending Careers in Professional Services?

1. Exploring the Big 4: Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC military programmes and pathways.

2. Demystifying the sector and discovering the wide range of roles available. Hearing directly from recruiters about how to tailor CVs for applications.

3. Informative workshops where recruiters shared tips for your interview preparation.

4. The opportunity to network with hiring managers, recruiters and military community representatives from these companies.

5. A LinkedIn profile picture for each delegate.


Forces Employment Charity Director of Executive Services, John Cunningham, said:

“We were so pleased to be able to bring the Big 4 together along with other companies to offer Service Leavers, veterans and spouses a better understanding of the sector and an insight into the opportunities that it provides. The event was a huge success, and we look forward to more brilliant collaboration in the future!”

Venue hosts PwC’s Managing Partner and Chief Operating Officer, Marissa Thomas, spoke at the event and adds:

“At PwC, we are proud to have taken the lead in hosting the first of the FEC’s ‘Big 4’ Careers in Professional Services events. We are guided by our purpose – to build trust in society and solve important problems – and I hope that this is both exciting and highly relatable to those from the Armed Forces community. We look forward to welcoming new joiners and supporting them in their transition”.

Want to hear more?

Sign up for our mailing list, where we will announce other events in our flagship ‘Careers in’ series as and when they are available, plus much more, such as LinkedIn workshops and other insight days.

Or complete our online form to have a conversation with one of our Executive Career Consultants.

The EM3 Armed Forces Veterans and Families Programme, part-funded by the European Social Fund, supports veterans, military families and young people into civilian employment across the M3 region.

This innovative programme builds upon the talented skills of the military community, with a focus on high-growth industries, including digital business, sustainable construction, low carbon, and gaming. The programme delivers upskilling and training opportunities for the whole military family.

The programme provides the opportunity to work alongside the education sector. For the first time, we support young people aged 16 – 24, through partnerships with schools, colleges, and universities. The team has enhanced career opportunities for over 200 Service children.


Forces Employment Charity’s Education and Skills Liaison, Kelly Wales, says:

“Young people from military families need the opportunity to talk to someone who understands and can empathise. Attending many different schools means that children from military families miss opportunities focused on careers. As advisors, we can provide these children with continuous career support and a toolkit to empower them to take ownership of their future.”

Get to know more about Kelly Wales.

Over the year, the team has supported 27 schools and colleges across Hampshire and Surrey. They deliver employability workshops and mock interview days, plus attend career fairs.

Working with key partners, including the Service Children’s Progression (SCiP) Alliance, Naval Children’s Charity, Scotty’s Little Soldiers, and single Service welfare services, all contribute towards the programme’s success.


Nicole Bridgman, SO2 Garrison Community Support Officer at Aldershot Garrison, says:

“I see your role as an integral part to supporting Service families. The specialist work that you are doing in supporting ALONGSIDE the working group is not only essential but is working. The young people are relating to you, and that means that they have that buy-in. Without this input, these Service children would not be given that chance to change their behaviours and would continue to feel unheard and let down by the system. Having your knowledge and wide range of contacts has not only benefited the young persons but also Aldershot Garrison. I have enjoyed working in collaboration with you and Forces Employment Charity, I hope that we can continue this working relationship.”  


Since the programme’s launch, 114 employers have signed up to support our community. Collaboration includes webinars, employability workshops, and career fairs. We thank each employer for their support.

If you would like to support our young beneficiaries to develop their employability skills and increase their life chances, please get in touch with our team at [email protected].

Veterans Work: Access took place earlier this year, a collaborative conference between Deloitte, Forces Employment Charity, and Forces in Mind Trust. With the Right Honourable Johnny Mercer MP, Minister for Veterans Affairs, making the opening address, over 100 delegates attended.

John Cunningham, Director of Executive Services at the Forces Employment Charity, shares more about the conference and how it busted some myths about veterans and Service leavers…

The conference, several months in the planning, focussed on de-bunking long-standing stereotypes about the lack of diversity amongst those veterans working in the Financial and Professional Services sector. It also represented a call to action for policymakers, government officials, industry employers, MOD, and charities in attendance. To do more to ensure that the sector is genuinely accessible to all service leavers, veterans, and their families

Some of the myths that were debunked, in large part through the presentation of some fantastic case studies of veterans currently working in the sector, are outlined below:


Myth: Employment in the sector is limited to those with specific demographic characteristics such as rank, education, and socio-economic background

The reality is that evidence from the case studies and veterans at the conference demonstrated true diversity amongst those enjoying successful careers in Financial and Professional Services.

Myth: Employment opportunities are limited to London

The reality is the sector has numerous firms with HQs and offices across the UK.

Myth: Applicants for employment need specific qualifications and experience

In reality, many veterans and Service leavers already have fantastic aptitude and valuable transferrable skills from their time in the military.

Myth: You need connections

The reality is that the sector welcomes diversity of thought and experience; it strives for that diversity in its recruitment. Many firms run programmes and internships to open up opportunities for veterans and Service leavers.


The well-known broadcaster and newsreader, Kate Silverton, skilfully hosted and compered the conference. She encouraged fantastic contributions from the floor, asked challenging questions herself, and held panellists to account fearlessly.

Kate is no newcomer to Veterans Work, having previously hosted the 2021 series of podcasts. She is one of a long list of celebrities and veterans who have supported the Veterans Work initiative by appearing in numerous short films, podcasts, and previous conferences since 2016 when the collaboration published their report:

Veterans Work: Recognising the potential of ex-service personnel


As suggested by Johnny Mercer, the event fired all those in attendance with enthusiasm to “ruthlessly collaborate” in continuing to advocate and ensure that the Financial and Professional Services sector is genuinely open for business for all veterans, Service leavers, and their spouses or partners.

Do you want to access this unique talent pool? Register with us today to promote your vacancies.


The Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2015 (AFPS 15) remedy (McCloud) is due to start being implemented from 1 October 2023.

David Roberts, Head of Pensions at the Forces Pension Society, provides some background on the remedy and the Society’s understanding of how it will be implemented…

When the new public service pension schemes were introduced in 2015 (for the Armed Forces this was the introduction of AFPS 15), transitional protection rules were put in place to ‘protect’ those who were within 10 years of their normal retirement age. For AFPS members this meant that Service Personnel who were born before 1 April 1967 were allowed to remain in their ‘legacy’ scheme (e.g. AFPS 75 or AFPS 05) whilst younger members were automatically transferred to AFPS 15. This was subsequently ruled to be age discriminatory and the Government is required to address the issue.

To remedy the situation, Armed Forces personnel who were in service both on or before 31 March 2012 and on or after 1 April 2015 with any break in service of less than 5 years will have the option to elect whether they wish to receive legacy scheme benefits (e.g. AFPS 75/05) or equivalent AFPS 15 benefits for the remedy period (1 April 2015 – 31 March 2022). On 1 April 2022 all serving personnel became members of AFPS15, and all legacy schemes closed on 31 March 2022.

Remediable Service Statements

Eligible members will all receive a Remediable Service Statement (RSS) from Veterans UK by 1 April 2025. Each RSS will be tailored to individual circumstances and will outline the value of the member’s legacy and AFPS 15 scheme benefits that were accrued during the remedy period. We understand that some cohorts such as pensioner members, imminent leavers (i.e. those retiring from the Armed Forces within 9 months from 1 October 2023) and representatives of members who have died, will be prioritised. This is because their pension is (or will be) in payment on/shortly after 1 October 2023.

After the first RSS is issued, eligible serving personnel will receive one RSS per year. Those who have left or will leave the Armed Forces with a deferred pension that is not yet in payment, may also request an annual RSS for free by contacting Veterans UK.

‘Immediate Choice’

Eligible members who have left/will leave the Armed Forces between 1 April 2015 and 1 October 2023 with a pension in payment (including Early Departure Payments (EDPs)), and eligible dependants with a pension in payment in cases where a member has died, are in the ‘Immediate Choice’ (IC) cohort.

Eligible members leaving the Armed Forces before 1 October 2023 will do so on their current pension terms. Once IC members receive their remedy choice, they will have 12 months to submit their election from the date of issue of their RSS. Once a member has made an election, their pension will be subject to retrospective adjustment if they have chosen to receive alternative benefits (i.e. they may have an underpayment or overpayment of benefits which will be paid or recovered).

‘Deferred Choice’

For those not in the Immediate Choice cohort, there is what is known as ‘Deferred Choice’. Personnel who are in-scope will ‘rollback’ to their relevant legacy scheme for the remedy period. They will then be able to choose between their relevant legacy scheme benefits and those that would have been offered by AFPS 15 for their service in the remedy period:

  • Members leaving the Armed Forces within 9 months of 1 October 2023 (known as ‘imminent leavers’) with entitlement to immediate benefits will be sent a RSS as soon as practicable after 1 September 2023. They will have 6 months to make their election. However, if they are unable to make an election prior to their final day in service, legacy benefits will be paid pending their election. If they subsequently elect to receive AFPS 15 benefits for the remedy period, they will be applied retrospectively and, where necessary, the pension/EDP will be subject to adjustment.
  • Eligible members who retire from the Armed Forces from 1 July 2024 with entitlement to immediate benefits will be provided with a RSS before they leave and will have 6 months to make their election.
  • Eligible members who have left/will leave the Armed Forces with deferred benefits (i.e. without entitlement to an immediate pension or EDP) will receive an initial RSS from Veterans UK by 1 April 2025. The initial RSS will not facilitate an election choice unless/until their deferred benefits are due to come into payment. Rather this RSS will simply compare the pension benefits for the remedy period for information purposes only. Thereafter, members with deferred benefits can request one RSS per year if they wish until such time as their pension benefits are payable, at which point they will be requested to make their election.

Default Position

For members who do not submit an election by the end of their specified ‘election period’, the ‘default’ position is that they will receive legacy scheme benefits based on that being the rollback position. In all cases, once an election is made or the election period ends, the choice/default position is irrevocable.

Armed Forces Pension Calculator

In advance of RSS’ being issued, the MoD revised online calculator is now available which allows serving personnel to run calculations to compare their legacy scheme benefits and AFPS 15 benefits for the remedy period.


If you are a member of the Forces Pension Society and have a pensions-related question, you can contact them via ‘Submit a Question’ in their members’ area.

If you are not a member but would like to know more about the Forces Pension Society, visit their website today.

Don’t forget to join us online during Pension Awareness Week to ask your questions and understand more about your military pension.


Women have served in our Armed Forces for more than a century, applying for the same roles as men and enjoying fulfilling careers. Yet when they leave military life, it can take them nine months* or longer to find employment, and the employment gap between them and their male counterparts remains acute.

This year marked the third year of our Women into Employment event series; events designed to focus on the employment needs of women from across the Armed Forces community. We bring employers and career specialists together with job seekers and those interested in reviewing their employment potential to explore new job opportunities and how to become not just job ready but confident in approaching the job search process.

Chloe Mackay, Deputy Chief Executive at the Forces Employment Charity, says: “Women into Employment has grown in popularity, year on year, with the experiences of some attendees having been truly transformational.”

In May, we ran a pre-conference networking evening hosted by Deloitte and the employment conference itself in June, was kindly hosted by J.P. Morgan. The volume and range of employers involved demonstrates their commitment and interest in hiring female talent across the Armed Forces community; JP Morgan, Centrica, Sky, Barclays, SubSea7, Deloitte, BNY Mellon, DAS, KPMG, CBRE and Smiths were just some of the employers involved in supporting this great initiative. As Laura Blair, Head of Programme at Centrica Ex-Forces Pathway said: “Our ambition is to hire from across the Armed Forces Community.”


Women into Employment Conference 2023Both events provided female job seekers and those interested in evaluating their employment potential with an opportunity to network and talk face-to-face about job opportunities and careers and to gain insights into the wider civilian jobs landscape.

Over 50 speakers, employers and industry experts contributed their time, expertise and energy to make each event successful. For the conference, we had an amazing Chair in Sky news broadcaster, Kimberly Leonard. She expertly managed a packed agenda and kept everyone on track and on time and with over one hundred women from across the Armed Forces Community in attendance, it was a day to remember.

“I am so glad I attended this event. 57 speakers and access to so much knowledge and positivity. I left the programme buoyed up about my chances of finding a job that works for my family and me. Excellent networking opportunities also.” – Saskia Hart, attendee


Our first year of hosting Women into Employment started the conversation with employers and women from the Armed Forces community, followed in 2022 with an event focused on identifying and overcoming some of the challenges women face when approaching the employment market.

Our focus this June was to understand how we can best support women to ensure they are fully equipped with the tools they need to access employment opportunities successfully. The conference definitely came a long way in achieving our goal, with 83% of attendees saying they made valuable connections and found the information and expertise on offer throughout the event useful in their next steps.

Networking, and knowing how you can make your network work is an ongoing topic for us all.  We recognise how important creating and building a network is to job success. This is where the idea of a networking event to complement the conference came about. People want an opportunity to meet future employers in an informal setting – to connect, network and take conversations forward and our May did exactly that. But don’t just take our word for it.

“It was the best networking and insight event I have been to. It was extremely informative, powerful and enjoyable, and certainly empowered women.” – Vivienne Buck, attendee


Next Steps

Following the success of this year’s Women into Employment events, we will be repeating both events in 2024. If you are interested in getting involved and are committed to recruiting from the female ex-military and spouse talent pools, then we want to hear from you.


Support for Military Women

At the Forces Employment Charity, we have a range of options for support for Military Women, from our dedicated Military Women programme to our Executive Services offering. If you would like to be part of our growing network and have access to this high level of support and job opportunities, register with us today.



*A 2021 Parliamentary Defence Sub-Committee study; Protecting those who protect us: Women in the Armed Forces from Recruitment to Civilian Life, concluded:

  1. Female veterans felt their skills and experience from the Armed Forces needed to be understood by civilian employers.
  2. One in five surveyed said it took them nine months or longer to find employment after leaving the military.

On a cool March evening this year, Lancaster House saw a return of what is becoming an annual fixture in the City calendar – the City Veterans Military Charity Dinner.

Forces Employment Chairty staff at City Veterans Military Charity Dinner 2023

The City Veterans, a non-profit Community Interest Company, was set up in 2014 by ex-military employees of domestic & US banks, consultancies and law firms to improve the transition of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines into the workplace and coordinate fundraising for military charities.

The dinner is just one event that raises funds for military charities. On the evening, over 240 people attended to support a silent auction that featured Hurricane Fighter plane flights, SAS survival schools and ceremonial swords and raised over £100,000 for the Forces Employment Charity, this year’s chosen beneficiary.

Alistair Halliday, Chief Executive of the Forces Employment Charity, said…

“As the leading employment charity for our Armed Forces Community, we are privileged to be able to deliver the services needed to ensure veterans and their families succeed throughout their working lives. We are humbled to be chosen as the charity for this year’s City Veterans Military Charity Dinner.”


City Veterans is now an established CIC (a non-profit Community Interest Company) and runs recruiting and fundraising events with its members, supporting over a dozen different charities and raising material funds for much needed causes. They work in partnership with Veterans on Wall Street (VOWS) in the United States, the Military in Law Network (MILNet). Read more about their work online.

The Forces Employment Charity provides life-long, life-changing support, job opportunities and training to Service leavers, reservists, veterans and their families, irrespective of circumstances, rank, length of service or reason for leaving. We provide specialist employment support to enable members of the Armed Forces Community to maximise their job potential, unemployed veterans and their families to access work and, for some of the most vulnerable to get the support they need to achieve stability in their lives and are seen as natural partners for City Veterans.

Please note that the following article has been authored by experts from GSK.

“We want to represent the modern world that we live, work and compete in, so every single employee can feel supported when they come to work at GSK and give the best of themselves every day.” – Emma Walmsley, Chief Executive of GSK


Adam Mallalieu, Veteran and now Vice President, Head of Corporate Security and Investigations at GSK shares why GSK is a great choice for Veterans and service leavers:

We recognise that our people are the differentiator in achieving success, and at GSK, we pride ourselves in providing the personal and collective development that is needed to be successful at work.

We value the expertise that many HM Forces, Police and Civil Servants can bring to GSK, such as knowledge, experience and diversity of thinking. This has encouraged us to recruit former Service personnel as part of our recruitment strategy.

GSK has many roles suited to former Service personnel where they are able to bring transferable skills into the workplace. Areas such as the Supply Chain, Manufacturing, Logistics and Distribution, Security and Investigations, Personnel and General Management all have characteristics that would have been similar in the Services, be that proven leadership and decision-making, a disciplined approach, technical skills and expertise, adaptability and agility, and the ability to focus and prioritise on the most important issues.


We are led by our purpose…

To get ahead of disease together. It inspires every one of us to do our best work. We support smart risk-taking, invest in innovation where and when it matters and constantly strives to do things better to make an impact on people’s health across the world.

Make a difference on challenging projects…

There are opportunities to work on challenging projects and assignments that help every one of us grow, thrive and reach our full potential. There is scope to contribute to high-performing teams to achieve ambitious goals.

Succeed with our team…

We help everyone in our teams succeed. At GSK, we all take clear ownership of our work, giving and receiving constructive feedback, with the promise of rewards and recognition for great performance.


Is GSK right for you?

At GSK, we offer everyone the opportunity to work with outstanding colleagues. Our culture inspires people to do things better and faster – so we can all thrive while doing our best work.

We are empowered to take charge of our own development throughout our careers. We do this through a blend of on-the-job experience, formal and informal learning. This includes coaching, mentoring, and training programmes.

We also encourage our colleagues to take responsibility for their objectives, make agile decisions, take smart risks, to listen and act on constructive feedback. These actions improve our performance consistently and help us to be conscious of the impact we create.

Our culture at GSK is about giving everyone space and support to succeed, learn and grow so we can achieve our ambition. It’s about providing everything you need to be and performing at your best – both mentally and physically.

Our range of health and wellbeing programmes and support services will help you be healthier, inspired and energised both at work and at home. It’s important to us that each of our colleagues is truly well, happy and have the confidence to be themselves.


Armed Forces Alumni

GSK have military veterans employed across many sectors of the company and has created an Armed Forces Alumni to bring the community together. If you are interested, search the vast range of opportunities available online.


GSK are working closely with the Forces Employment Charity’s Executive Programme team, read more about the services on offer and register today.

We spoke to Laura Blair, ex-Army Officer now Head of Centrica’s Forces Pathway, about her journey since leaving the military, and why Centrica is on a mission to hire talent from across the Armed Forces community.

What’s your background in the military?

After university, I completed my officer training, joined the Army and enjoyed 12 years in personnel roles that took me around the world – from Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Cyprus, Germany. What I learnt about being in the army, is that regardless of rank, people have incredible transferable skills such as teamwork, leadership, creativity, resilience and an ability to think outside the box. That’s what makes ex-service personnel so attractive to employers.

What was your journey into civilian life like?

Exciting and nerve-wracking. Since leaving I’ve had some really rewarding jobs including Director of Employment for the Officers Association, Head of Client Development for Maynard Leigh Associates, and gained my Qualified Teacher Status. I now work for the energy company Centrica, as their Head of Ex-Forces Pathway. I met my current boss at a book launch, which shows the power of networking!

Why Centrica as a career?

We’re interested in hiring talent from the Armed Forces community – Service Leaver, Veteran, Reservist and Military Spouse, Partner – senior to junior hire. To drive towards Net Zero, we need the best team – a diverse mix of people and skills, where different ideas can grow, and where everyone can succeed. The diversity of experience that exists within the Armed Forces is something we want to tap into. We provide the opportunity to gain a new, rewarding career and have a variety of roles routinely available, from Regional Director to Project Manager. We’re also trialling a six-month paid Military Leadership Placement, with opportunities thereafter for permanent employment. Centrica also knows that the transition from the military isn’t always easy. Therefore, we have a focused package of support, superb benefits, a well-being package and a Flexible First Working Policy. You can also be allocated an Ex-Forces Oppo buddy when you join and become a member of our 400-strong internal Ex-Forces Network.

Why is Centrica sponsoring Women into Employment 2023?

Boosting the representation of women across all levels and roles within our company is key and supports the drive to Net Zero. Centrica is on a massive growth trajectory; we want to engage with and hire from the vast female talent pool that exists across the Armed Forces community. Additionally, Forces Employment Charity is one of our key partners; Centrica wants to support the fantastic work FEC does, with our Forces Pathway regularly engaging with its fantastic UK-wide Veteran employment programmes.

Get involved and view all upcoming events here.

What would you say to anyone leaving the Forces?

Consider the energy sector and Centrica as a career. Climate change is the greatest threat facing society and we’re at the forefront of the need to respond. The future is Net Zero!

For more information on Centrica Forces Pathway: Armed Forces Pathway | Centrica plc

One certainty of service life is that eventually everyone leaves the Armed Forces, and most will pursue a second career.

It’s why the Forces Pension Society place so much emphasis on supporting those going through the resettlement process, helping their Members make the best pension choices – the financial foundation upon which everything else is built.

Neil Marshall, Chief Executive at the Forces Pension Society, shares his personal experience of resettlement…

In my own case, I left the Army after a fulfilling 33-year career, but before completing my full career commission. The timing of my decision to leave was of course a very personal one, but it worked for me. After a couple of years working as a Defence and leadership development consultant, I succeeded in my application for the CEO role at The Forces Pension Society. This allowed me to be part of an exceptional team, supporting those serving, veterans and the wider military community. Importantly, I was already a Member of the Society which had helped me through the resettlement financial planning process.

And over the years I’ve met scores of highly motivated, successful former military folks from diverse backgrounds in all kinds of inspiring roles. And above all, they are professionally and personally fulfilled. This led me to consider the keys to success. I first did this for an article published in 2020 and have adapted it since then.

Looking back, here are 5 steps that worked for me and could help you:

Step 1: Be (or become) self-aware

Have an honest conversation with yourself. Often the military choose your next role – this time you choose so don’t bluff it. Look back on your career to date and identify where you were happiest and best. This will indicate where you might be a good (or bad) fit and where you should concentrate your initial efforts.

Step 2: “Do the Math” (as my American buddies would say)

Your financial situation is unique, like your Armed Forces Pension. It’s highly likely that your pension will be the foundation on which your financial future is based. Once you’ve worked out what you need to meet your financial commitments then you know the salary level at which you can afford to enter the market. Your embedded military qualities will then see you progress, even if your initial income is below expectation.

Step 3: Take Control and use the network

Resettlement is not something that’s done to you but rather something you undertake. So, seize it and exploit every opportunity to educate, train and develop. There’s a great network of people and organisations only too willing to help. Speak to them, develop your own network, and let them advise and influence you. And then do the same for others in a similar position in the years to come.

Step 4: Have a plan but be prepared to deviate from it

We all know a plan never survives contact with the enemy so don’t be surprised if your plan doesn’t deliver exactly as you thought it would. Take an occasional punt on a resettlement course that catches your eye. Even if it doesn’t take you to your ultimate destination, it can be an enriching and worthwhile experience.

Step 5: Rinse and repeat as necessary

Don’t be afraid to admit you may have taken the wrong route – I certainly headed into the occasional cul-de-sac! Have the humility to take stock, honestly review (After Action Reviews are not alien to us) and re-engage.

The world of work is evolving and with significant change will come a host of opportunities for those prepared to adapt, seize the initiative, work collaboratively, and make things happen; the very qualities inherent in the military’s USP.


The Forces Pension Society are adapting to the changing environment to continue to support you with guidance when you need it most and give you a voice where it counts, on the representative bodies for Armed Forces and Public Services Pensions. In the coming years, this representation will be particularly vital. And remember, it pays to understand your pension.

If you wish to understand more about how the Forces Pension Society can support you through your resettlement and beyond, you can visit their website and enquire about becoming a member.

Want to hear about our programmes, partnerships, events and ways that we could support you?