X-Factor is paid in addition to base pay to reflect the relative disadvantage between the conditions of service experienced by members of the armed forces over a full career and conditions in civilian life. It is only paid to service personnel and is for the duration of their Service career regardless of where they are serving.
All Regular, mobilised reserve and full-time reserve service personnel receive full X-Factor, which is currently 14 per cent. of base pay, up to the rank of lieutenant colonel and equivalent. Beyond this point it tapers in recognition of the diminishing impact of the X-Factor components on higher ranks. The level of X-Factor for other reserve personnel is set at either 0 per cent. or 5 per cent. of base pay depending on their level of commitment.
The following table gives approximate numbers, by rank, of personnel who receive X-Factor. For simplicity, NATO ranks have been used.
Officers OFO 7,263 OF1 5,458 OF2 14,366 OF3 11,407 OF4 4,313 OF5 1,224 OF6 335 OF7 97 OF8 25
Other ranks OR2 91,526 OR3 19,383 OR4 30,976 OR6 20,480 OR7 14,357 OR8 5356 OR9 3162