Skip to main content

Armed Forces: Pay

Volume 473: debated on Friday 14 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel have (a) not received their salaries in full and (b) not received any salary payment in each of the last 12 months; what the total sums (i) underpaid and (ii) not paid were; and how much is outstanding. (175794)

The number of underpayments resulting from joint personnel administration system errors in the last 12 months is as follows:


February 2007


March 2007


April 2007


May 2007


June 2007


July 2007


August 2007


September 2007


October 2007


November 2007


December 2007


January 2008


1 The majority of the underpayments were caused by University Officer Training Corps input of bounties and training nights. Other factors were mess subscriptions and disturbance allowance. There were a further 3,340 minor errors due to the migration of some Army data elements. These were mainly resolved in June, although the level of detail to distinguish between overpayment and underpayment is not held.

2 Comprised 35,553 incorrect deductions of £3.00 in respect of contributions to the discontinued Royal Navy and Royal Marines Dependants’ Fund, and 10,752 underpayments of Home to Duty Travel claims for Reservists averaging £20-£30. The former was re-credited to pay accounts in October, and the latter underpayments paid in September.

3 A further 4,249 errors occurred when an incorrect rank on JPA generated an erroneous payment. The level of detail to distinguish between overpayment and underpayment is not held. Corrective action was taken in time for the October 2007 pay run.

The total sums underpaid, not paid and still outstanding are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, local cash payments are always available to individuals and in the vast majority of cases once a central pay error is identified, it is corrected within one or, at most, two months.

In accordance with the former Armed Forces Personnel and Administration Agency’s performance against key target 1 (timeliness of pay), as set out in its annual corporate plan and annual report and accounts, 773 monthly salary payments, out of a total of more than three million, were paid late in financial year 2006-07, the last full financial year available. The definition of a late payment is when no money is paid into an individual’s account on the designated day for that month. In all cases where late payments will result in hardship, the unit to which an individual is assigned is authorised to make cash payments in lieu.

Delays or errors in individual payments can also occur as the result of late or incorrect inputs by unit human resources staff, and failures to follow the correct processes within the payroll area. This information is held centrally.