X-FACTOR, the additional element of a soldier’s pay provided for the inconveniences of Service life, is a magician’s hat – with many things seemingly included. I would be grateful for answers to the following questions:

  • What percentage of X-Factor is accounted for by spousal employment? Has this percentage increased between 1990-2014? Is a married person paid more X-Factor than a single person?
  • The Navy and RAF do not have directed postings, the Army does – does this mean that we receive more X-Factor for this considerably greater inconvenience?

A decent spousal income is a necessity. It’s time to make the X-Factor a separate allowance, with significantly more being paid to those posted overseas. There seems to be too many inconsistencies to make its calculation believable.

Name & address supplied

Response from PS10 (Army): The X-Factor is a percentage increase to the military salary of Service personnel, intended to reflect the differences experienced by members of the Armed Forces over a full career and in civilian life, which cannot be taken directly into account in assessing pay comparability.

X-Factor is reviewed by the Armed Forces Pay Review Body (AFPRB) every five years, comparing the conditions for Forces personnel and civilians.

The last review was conducted in 2012 and resulted in an increase from 14 per cent to 14.5 per cent for Regular (and mobilised Reserve) personnel.

Current factors include: Turbulence, danger, separation from home and family, job satisfaction, job security, hours of work, stress at work, leave, support to personnel and families, training, promotion and early responsibility, autonomy/management control/flexibility, divorce, health and education, individual rights, adventure and travel, trade union membership and industrial action and travel to work. The AFPRB tends to place most emphasis on the turbulence, danger and separation elements. It traditionally reviews the impact of spousal employment challenges within the turbulence element. However, in their 2014 report it recommended that the next review considers spousal employment as a separate component, thus emphasising their understanding of the growing impact of this issue.

PS10 (Army) has no visibility of Royal Navy or Royal Air Force direct posting policy and cannot comment on your specific second question.

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