MEMBERSHIP IS OPEN TO ALL REGULAR AND RESERVE ROYAL ENGINEER OFFICERS REGARDLESS OF RELATIONSHIP STATUS
MEMBERS SUBSCRIBE DURING SERVICE AND BEYOND UNTIL AGE 60 AND MEMBERSHIP CONTINUES TO DEATH
IMMEDIATE LUMP SUM CASH PAYMENT TO THE MEMBER’S REGISTERED SPOUSE OR PARTNER FOLLOWING DEATH (Currently £4,000 per unit)
ANNUITY PAYMENTS FOR THE LIFETIME OF THE MEMBER’S SPOUSE OR PARTNER & EACH DEPENDENT CHILD UP TO AGE 21 (Currently £450 per unit)
Membership of the Society is open to all Royal Engineer Officers, regardless of commission type and gender.
From October 2020 the Society will recognise all forms of enduring relationship, subject to conditions set out in the Rules.
Members pay subscriptions from the point of enrolment until their 60th birthday. The closer to commissioning that Members join the less they will pay during the course of their membership.
Very generous incentives are available for those joining during their Troop Commanders Course. Single members receive a 50% discount on subscriptions (plus a further 25% if joining during TCC).
Unlike most commercial life assurance policies, death benefits are available for as long as the spouse lives and there is no small print regarding cause of death.
Each unit of membership provides the following benefits:
- An immediate lump sum cash payment to the widow or widower. (This lump sum payment will be divided equally between eligible children under the age of 21, should a spouse die before or at the same time as the member.)
- In the case of a single member a half rate lump sum cash payment is made to the deceased member’s estate.
- Annuity payments for the lifetime of the widow or widower.
- Annuity payments for each dependant child up to their 21st birthday.
Benefits are reviewed every three years based as part of a wider actuarial review. All beneficiaries receive the benefits at the most current rate regardless of the level of subscriptions paid by the deceased member. This helps to maintain the market value of the benefits paid, especially when an annuity is paid to a spouse for very many years.
BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP
Benefits of the Society:
- Members pay in until 60 but are covered for life
- All forms of enduring relationship recognised (since October 2020)
- Very few strings attached (for example age, lifestyle, cause of death)
- Number of dependent children does not impact subscription rates
- Benefits are reviewed and increased periodically, but subscription rates are fixed to the original unit schedule signed up to
- Annuity payment benefits are relatively unusual and only apply to comparatively expensive commercial Whole of Life Insurance Policies
- Claims are honoured swiftly and with minimal process
- Membership supports The Samaritan Fund Charity which can provide assistance to the spouses or partners of any deceased RE officers
- The Society has members and beneficiaries worldwide serving as an informal network for serving and retired RE officers and their families
- Neither a pension fund nor an insurance company, the Society is able to minimise its overheads
A Colonel died in 2013 aged 65 owning 5 units. He had taken out 4 extra units in 1996. His widow got an immediate payment of £20,000 and an annual pension of £2,250 for life.
A Lieutenant-Colonel died of cancer aged 50 in 1997. His widow is still in receipt of her annuity and his daughter received the same annuity for 11 years until she was 21.
A young unmarried Captain holding 5 units died in a car accident soon after returning from an operational tour in 2011. His estate received £10,000.
Following death the REOWS will cover subscriptions for widow(er)s whose spouses were Lady Grover’s Fund members. This is worth up to £8,000 per annum and covers unexpected nursing costs as a consequence of illness and injury.
“I really wish I had joined the Society before I’d turned 34 and taken out 10 units; it didn’t seem important back then but now, compared to commercial products out there, this makes total sense – after all, it WILL pay out!”
Updates and publications from REOWS
Ensure your Long Term Relationship is Registered
Following adoption of the new Articles several Members have already registered their Long Term Partners in order to ensure they are covered in the event of death. The burden of proof rests with the Member and is based upon a relationship enduring for over 365 days with demonstrable shared parental responsibilities and/or financial interdependence. Please use the form here together with the requisite evidence to get registered.
New Articles & Rules!
New Articles of Association were adopted unanimously at the AGM on 15th October and the new Rules are now in place. The most significant change is that the Society will recognise all forms of enduring relationship. In line with the MoD’s application process for SFA, new and existing Members are now able to apply to have their partners and children covered having demonstrated when their relationship was formalised through the submission of appropriate evidence – for example, joint mortgage, bank accounts or, where applicable, children’s birth certificates and so on. The relevant form is available from the Secretary – please email him on email@example.com. The two documents are available here: https://www.reows.co.uk/rules/
Switch to Direct Debit!
The Society now has a Direct Debit facility which places the onus on the Society rather than the Member to ensure your subscriptions are accurate. So please complete a mandate here and the Secretary will take care of the rest. Ensure you cancel your existing standing order with your bank unless you plan on donating to the REOWS Samaritan Fund!
ABOUT THE SOCIETY
The Society was formed in 1785 by all 68 Officers of the Corps serving at the time. Over the years since then the Society has used the income generated by the subscriptions of Officer members to provide help for their families when they have died in combat or from other causes.
Today, the Society has some 1100 members and there are nearly 100 widows receiving annuity payments and children in receipt of benefits. The Society’s Annuity fund has assets of around £6 million and the charitable Samaritan Fund has a further £0.5M.
The Society is managed by a Council, elected by members, consisting of serving and retired Royal Engineer Officers who receive no remuneration.
THE REOWS SAMARITAN FUND
The Council of Management of the Society are also Trustees of a separate Samaritan Fund, a registered Charity (No. 264432). This fund, which has assets of £500,000, exists to provide help for those widows, widowers or orphans of deceased officers who are in need, hardship or distress.
Working in conjunction with the Officers’ Association the Samaritan Fund currently provides regular support to some 15 RE widows.
Over the years the Fund has benefited from legacies as well as from donations from Members and Widows. It is this Sapper generosity which enables the Trustees to continue with this aspect of the Society’s very valuable charitable work. You can donate here.
Please address all correspondence and enquiries to the Society Secretary by using this form.
Lt Col (Retd) Nick Mifsud
Tel: 01634 409110
The Royal Engineers Officers’ Widows Society
c/o Regimental Headquarters Royal Engineers
Chatham, Kent ME4 4UG
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