Here at AFF, families often ask us how they can retain their Service Family Accommodation (SFA) when posted. It’s only available for very specific reasons such as for public exams, a short-notice posting, moves less than 11 months, spousal employment or medical/welfare issues. However, there are specific criteria to be met. Cat Calder tells us more…
How do I find out if I’m entitled?
You’ll need to let Pinnacle know that you have been posted within 14 days of receiving your soldier’s assignment order and at the same time apply for retention if you need it.
Any request for retention must be applied for before your soldier’s new job starts – after that it will be refused as it will no longer be considered an extension to your entitlement. If you’re overseas, contact the station/garrison housing staff.
You can make your applications via the e1132 if you’re based in the UK. You will also need to complete a retention request form which can be found in JSP464 volume 1 part 1, annex A to chapter 7 and send that to Pinnacle along with all your supporting evidence – such as an impact statement from the school for educational requests, for example. Your welfare team will be able to help you if you get stuck.
The duration of the retention will be restricted to the minimum period necessary and will not exceed 12 months in most cases. You may need to re-apply for a further specified period if your circumstances persist – and you’ll need to do this before the retention runs out.
What if I don’t qualify?
You may, depending on availability in your area, be offered surplus SFA instead.
Be aware that both retention and a surplus agreement will probably mean that you are classed as voluntarily separated and this may affect any allowances or removals. I strongly recommend that you chat to your unit HR admin clerk to find out.
What if I’m overseas?
Contact your local station housing staff for applications overseas, but in most instances welfare or medical cases won’t be approved as access to the right support and medical services may not be available.
It’s best to discuss the specific in-country arrangements with your local housing provider or contact the AFF overseas team.
Find out more on the housing pages at aff.org.uk or your soldier can access JSP 464.