Improving the financial stability of military families in the UK

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What is the issue?

The particular demands and nature of life in the Armed Forces, such as high levels of mobility, may contribute to financial difficulties or reduced financial stability for some personnel and their partners. These issues may materialise both while a person is in Service and upon transition into civilian life.

Financial instability can impact the quality of life of military families, affect the mental wellbeing of personnel and their partners, and reduce the likelihood of a successful transition to civilian life. However, there is a lack of research, particularly in the UK, on the potential extent of financial instability among current and former Service personnel and their partners as well as how the unique characteristics of Service life shape financial stability of the Armed Forces community. There is also a lack of robust evidence on what support exists in relation to financial wellbeing of the community, and what the strengths or limitations of existing support are.

How are we helping?

To improve understanding of financial stability among UK military families and provide an evidence baseline for strengthening policy and support, RAND Europe has launched a 10-month study with the objectives to:

  • Improve understanding of the prevalence of financial instability among UK military families
  • Examine possible Service-related factors that may impact the financial stability of current and former UK Service personnel, their partners, and wider family unit; and
  • Map and characterise the landscape of support interventions that are in place to support the financial wellbeing of current and former Service personnel and their families.

The study will involve a mixed-methods approach where the study team will first conduct a scoping literature review examining evidence on financial stability for current and former Service personnel and their spouses, before designing a survey which will seek to understand the factors that may influence financial stability among military spouses and current and former Service personnel. The study team will also conduct interviews with stakeholders from military charities, the Ministry of Defence, the Armed Forces, and other support organisations to understand the issue of financial stability as it pertains to military spouses and the wider family unit.

The study is being conducted in a partnership with the Army Families Federation and is funded through a grant from the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT).