Q&A for MoneyForce
What is MoneyForce? MoneyForce is a new website, designed specifically for the Armed Forces community to improve the financial awareness and capability of Service Personnel (SP) throughout their careers. It offers advice on budgeting,
savings, loans and mortgages and anything that might affect financial wellbeing of SP. It focuses specific attention on aspects of Service life such as regular family moves, postings abroad, and the Armed Forces Pensions Schemes.
Who is Running it, is it Independent?
The Royal British Legion has set up MoneyForce in conjunction with Standard Life Charitable Trust and with the full co-operation of MoD. It is unbiased and independent and does not direct users to Standard Life or any other company’s products.
How Will it Work?
MoneyForce is an interactive website with a number of tools such as loan and savings calculators. Users can choose to register on the site (entering anonymous information such as age, rank, career stage and family circumstances) to allow the site to deliver more relevant information to them, or they can choose to simply surf the site without registration. Any data on the site is anonymous and MoD and Single Services will not have access to any user submitted data.
Why is it Necessary?
Financial mismanagement creates worry which is likely to affect an individual’s ability to focus and operate on duty whilst deployed and at home. Furthermore, factors of Service life, such as mobility, service overseas, deployments and the inadvertent institutionalisation of junior personnel, create additional financial challenges such as poor credit ratings and a delay in acknowledging the need for financial planning. The current financial downturn can affect service personnel as easily as any one else – pay freezes and prices rises affect many people. Whilst there is a range of good financial education in the Media and on the Web, such as the Money Advice Service, the Citizens Advice Service and MoneysavingExpert.com, there has been nothing aimed specifically at Service personnel and their specific problems. MoneyForce aims to rectify this.
Our Personnels’ Finances are Their Own Business
Yes, personal finance is an individual responsibility and the Service chain of command has no right to interfere. However, financial mismanagement creates additional stresses and distractions that can impact on an individual’s performance on duty, particularly whilst on operations and there is a Service interest in protecting operational capability. Additionally, Service life can create specific difficulties and we have a responsibility for help all personnel become more financially aware and secure. There is specific Single Service policy on how commanders should deal with personnel in financial difficulty and the MoneyForce programme is not designed to replace that policy; however, it will be an important part of a commander’s toolbox for supporting personnel with financial concerns by providing sound guidance and education.
Where is it?
MoneyForce will formally launch on 12th March 2013 but it is already available at: www.moneyforce.org.uk
From early 2013, all trainees will be introduced to MoneyForce at either Phase 1 or Phase 2 training and it will be gradually introduced into Command and Management training over the next year so that commanders are aware of it as a tool. Look out for more publicity material.