If you served after April 1975, you could have a preserved pension. AFPS 75 pensions earned before April 2005 are payable when you are 60 years old, but you won't receive it automatically - you have to make a claim.
Initially, personnel had to serve for five years and be at least 26 years old to qualify for a pension. From April 1988, this reduced to two years paid service from age 18, or age 21 for Officers.
The amount you receive depends on when, and for how long you served. If you left service in April 1978 with a preserved pension of £800, you would now have a preserved pension of over £4,000 and a preserved pension lump sum of over £12,000.
If you left service in April 1982 with a preserved pension of £1,100, you would now have a preserved pension of about £3,500 and a preserved pension lump sum of almost £10,500.
Even if you only served for a short time, it's still worth making a claim. This is because the value of a preserved pension increases annually with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) from age 55, and you may be eligible for a tax-free lump sum when you claim.
The amount of money you receive could make a real difference to everyday life. The Forces Pension Society can give further assistance with claiming your pension.