WHEN SHOULD I JOIN?
Officers are encouraged to join within 12 months of commissioning when significant discounts apply to Regular and Reserve Officers which significantly reduce the total value of subscriptions paid in to age 60. However experience has shown that the relevance of REOWS Membership, despite the financial incentives, may not resonate whilst on your Troop Commanders’ Course unless perhaps faced with the certainty of operational deployments. So whilst officers are encouraged to join at the earliest opportunity, it is never too late to join: Significant milestones include:
- Ahead of an operational deployment or long exercise
- Before you turn 34 or 43 (when subscription rates increase)
- Upon marriage or after establishing an enduring long term relationship: Entitled spouses of Members will receive a tax-free lump sum upon the Member’s death and an annuity payment for the remainder of their own lives
- Having children – Members’ dependent children will receive an annuity until their 21st birthday
- Leaving the Army – when you are potentially more focussed than ever on ensuring your loved ones are provided for
Membership of the Society really is a cracking opportunity from a purely financial perspective for whenever the worst happens providing immediate support to the Members’ families: following a death next of kin truly value the ease and speed with which benefits are arranged, particularly when delays to legal processes can hold up most financial activity.
But it’s not just about money: on offer also is a friendly and empathetic voice at the end of a telephone who can help signpost next of kin to relevant agencies such as UK Veterans (for Armed Forces Pensions issues), the Armed Forces Pension Society, the Institution of Royal Engineers, the Lady Grovers’ Fund…and so on) or exploit the extensive network that the REOWS membership represents.
It’s difficult to place a value on the caring after-service provided by members of the Sapper family available for the lifetime of each of the Society’s beneficiaries – think carefully about passing up this unique opportunity.
(As from 1 January 2011 – Applicable to all Beneficiaries regardless of date of Member’s death)
Immediate Lump Sum
a. £4,000 per unit of subscription payable to the registered spouse or partner immediately upon notification of the death of the member:
b. On the death of a member, eligible children under 21 receive £4,000 per unit of subscription, divided equally between them.
c. A half lump sum benefit of £2,000 per unit of membership payable to the estate of a deceased member with no registered dependents.
£450 per annum per unit of subscription for the deceased member’s registered spouse or partner and each eligible child under 21.
Tax Position: Benefits paid by the Society are regarded by the HMRC as a separate estate and are not liable for Inheritance Tax. The Lump Sum is a capital payment and is free from Income Tax. Annuity Payments are considered as investment income and are liable to Income Tax at the basic rate (currently 20%, deducted at source).
Legacy Subscription Rates
If you joined before January 2014 your subscription follows an older unit rate matrix. Please click the link to open a PDF detailing REOWS Legacy Rates for subscriptions purchased between 1996 and 2014. However, note that whilst your subscriptions are fixed to your original unit rate, the most recent benefits rate will apply to all beneficiaries regardless of when the member joined or passed away.
Subscription and benefit rates are reviewed approximately every three years to ensure they are optimised. This generally results in both rates increasing broadly in line with inflation noting that new subscription rates do not impact existing members. The most influential factor is the projected strength of the Annuity Fund which is, of course, subject to market forces.
Subscription Rates Per Unit Per Annum for Units Taken Out from 1 January 2014
- Single Members pay half the subscription rate except for those joining within one year of commissioning, who pay 25% of the subscription rate up to age 33.
- Members in a legally recognised or long term relationship (subject to conditions) joining within one year of commissioning pay half the subscription rate for the first two years.
- Any officer, regardless of relationship status, joining within one year of commissioning and taking out not less than 5 units of membership, will receive a further 10% reduction on all his/her subscription payments up to age 60.
- Minimum number of units on joining is 2; the maximum at any time is 10.
- Units acquired over age 50 must be subscribed for 10 years.
- Members over age 60, having subscribed for ten years, pay no subscription (but are entitled to all benefits).
- Subscriptions are collected monthly or half-yearly on 1 June and 1 December via Direct Debit.
Members must advise the Secretary upon change of relationship status or benefits may be reduced
The Royal Engineers Officers’ Widows Society is governed by its Articles of Association and a set of Rules which set how the Society functions. Applicants must acknowledge and follow these Rules, which are reviewed regularly by the Council to ensure the Society’s relevance in the 21st Century. Click here to see them.
READY TO JOIN?
Please complete and submit this online form.
The Secretary will contact you by email to confirm your subscription fees and instructions on how to complete a Direct Debit mandate for your membership subscriptions.
to the Royal Engineers Officers’ Widows Society (REOWS)
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