Of course, it's possible you have heard it elsewhere, but a few newsletters ago we included a news item about the announced changes to the Forces Pension. Soon afterwards, we heard from Alex Winyard (Ex Sgt REME.) who wanted to express his opinion on these changes. Alex, now running his own telecommunications business, left the Army after nearly 24 years service, in May 2000, and is one of those affected by the changes.

Here are his thoughts:

"Have I missed something or have I woken up in bad dream ??? Does this government really want to rob me of Five years of my pension ??? Does David Marsh and his secretary think this is a ‘Good Deal ???’. Breaking the news while The Forces bails out yet another national crisis during the 2012 Olympics. A good day for bad news. Not.

Do I really have to forfeit Five years worth of my full and entitled pension??? When I signed up for 22 years to serve the Crown that contract said I Will receive 22/37ths of a pension at the age of 55. I kept my side of the deal as did countless thousands of others. The government knew that deal existed and should have provisioned for it. To my understanding, the reason why the service pension started at that age was due to the risk of life we commit to for the sake of our country and the crown as instructed by the government of the day and that due to the arduous strain on our bodies, we at 55 years are what is to a civilian at 65 years.

I realise the country is in a financial ‘Pickle’, (to be polite.) The fault of the governments past for sure. I admire this one's zest to attempt to rectify this. But to go back on ‘This’ contract, their word and oath, to this nation's finest and most loyal subjects, I am finding it difficult to believe and too hard to accept.

What next? In ten years time the country, should it be in the same financial state, the government pull the same trick and up the date by another 5 years. Where does it stop? Do something about it Now and force the Government to do a U–Turn. If Mobile home VAT can do it then the loyalty, bravery and dedication of the best forces in the world should account for something."

We got in touch with Alex to find out a bit more:

Ex-Mil Recruitment Newsletter: Do you think you would have done anything differently had you known these pension changes would come into play?

Ex Sgt. Alex Winyard: Most definitely. I would have liked to have joined the fire brigade or other valuable service. No one would choose a career or occupation with a contract & terms that they can’t be sure won't be broken by the employer.

E R N: Do you think there is any way of ‘encouraging’ the Government to change it's mind?

Ex Sgt. Alex Winyard: Possibly by asking all those affected to petition the government, using all means of media. Also, by requesting the backing and support of all business institutions.

E R N: Did you have anything to add to your piece?

Ex Sgt. Alex Winyard: I would like to see the past and current MP's set an example by voting for their pensions to be affected in a similar way before implementing pension cuts to the most hard working, loyal and very courageous subjects this country has. Additionally, the Armed Forces are an easy target for the Government, as we don't have a union and we are forbidden to strike.

E R N: Many thanks, Alex. We wish you all the best.

Do you have any thoughts on this? Have you been affected by the pension changes? Let us know at [email protected].