Cat goes through the retention rules if you need to stay put for study or training…

One of my first successes on joining AFF nine years ago (is it really that long?!) was to push for a change in policy to allow spouses who had started a course to be able to retain their quarter if the soldier was short toured. But what exactly does this mean?

AFF recognises that spousal employment and training is crucial to wellbeing, career progression and an easier transition to civvy street.

Where courses take years and are likely to go on for longer than the average posting time, it’s your decision as a family whether or not to take it up, as you may need to consider alternative housing when your soldier’s posting comes around.

Options include private rental using the MOD tenancy deposit loan scheme, home ownership using Forces Help to Buy or applying for surplus SFA.

However, should your soldier be posted early, meaning that you can’t complete a course or contract which was due to end before your soldier’s original posting period, you’ll be able to request to retain your SFA until the course/contract ends.

How do we apply?

Ask your unit HR to put in a request to Amey for you, along with supporting evidence.

This must be completed and agreed before the start date of the new posting.

Other factors

Some allowances may be affected so do ensure that your soldier discusses any impact with their unit admin before applying.

For more details on retention for this and other accepted reasons, take a look at JSP 464 at or contact me by email at

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