Military Moves: Relocation for Military Personnel
Being relocated with the Armed Forces is often par for the course and an exciting opportunity to see the world and live within a different culture for a period of time. Luckily, the MoD operates a generous relocation package for all servicemen and women when they need to move abroad in service. Not to be confused with job perks or benefits, these allowances exist as a means to remunerate and compensate troops for the various costs of moving away and setting up life somewhere new – often with partners and children in tow.
Typically, these allowances apply to those who have completed three years’ service in the forces and intend to stay in their new overseas post for at least six months. Allowances are sometimes smaller for single and childless claimants, and are mostly applicable to those who are moving from non-Forces accommodation.
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Disturbance and insurance allowance
A payment of £300 - £2000 (plus £99 per child) can be claimed for sundry costs incurred in planning and executing a move abroad for service reasons. Eligibility will depend on the marital status of the serviceman or woman, as well as whether they are Commissioned or Non-Commissioned. Payments are also dependent on the sort of property being moved into, and at least six months’ duty must be undertaken at the new post in order to retain the disturbance allowance in full. Insurance premiums can also be reclaimed for shipping insurance costs.
Provided that you are moving from a home you established at your own expense and not public accommodation, the forces will pay for packing and shipping a forty foot container of belongings to your new posting (which tends to cost a public customer from £4,500 to £6,000 depending on the distance travelled). A forty foot container will typically hold the contents of a three-bedroom family house plus one or two vehicles, and is usually ample space for a family on the move. Often the MoD will stipulate that you source up to three separate removals quotes before appointing the best value package.
Service people are also entitled to one forty foot container’s worth of storage for placements abroad when a return home is anticipated and claimants don’t want or need to ship all of their furniture. Items will also be packed and collected from the serviceman or woman’s home, but must have been in use at their previous home.
Legal fee reimbursement
Up to £5,000 can be reclaimed from the MoD for incurred legal fees when moving abroad in Service. Many Service people understandably people want to remain on the property ladder when they are posted overseas, and as such the MoD will reimburse fees incurred in the sale and purchase of properties for the purpose of moving abroad.
The property being sold must be a Residence at Station (RaS) or Residence at Place of Duty (RPD) and the place being purchased abroad must also be a RaS or RPD in order to qualify for reimbursed legal fees, though.
Interestingly, a claimant may sell their UK property, live in public accommodation abroad, and then purchase a property upon their return to the UK with legal fees still reimbursed by the MoD. Claimants can also let their property whilst posted abroad, and reclaim legal fees for no more than two tenancy agreements a year.