Forces Pension Society – Chief of Staff (COS)


Location: London

Salary: Circa £70k package

Deadline: 1st July

The Forces Pension Society is a not-for-profit, independent membership organisation that looks after the pensions interests of the UK Armed Forces community. It is a watchdog, a lobby group and a provider of professional advice to its membership, which comprises both serving and retired Armed Forces personnel and their dependants. In recent years the Society has gone from strength to strength, with increasing membership (now over 55,000), a strong independent voice and considerable influence and reputation. The Society has a full time staff of 15, supported by a number of consultants and is based in Vauxhall, South West London.

The COS is the right hand of the Chief Executive (CE) and deputises for him in his absence. He/she must therefore have the gravitas and confidence to stand in for the CE, together with a clear understanding of current issues. He/she must be a source of sound judgement, able to deliver independent and considered advice. The role is complementary to the CE’s; the COS is the Society’s anchor and staff focus; it is his/her function to lead, coordinate and direct staff effort and to balance priorities, ensuring that the organisation’s various different functions are working in harmony with each other, are resourced appropriately and compliant with current regulations.

The COS need not be an Armed Forces Pension expert, but is expected to acquire a working knowledge of the main schemes and current issues. He/she is also the day to day focus for campaigning and guardian of the Society’s corporate memory. He/she is therefore responsible for ensuring all staff are aware of the Society’s stance on all campaign issues and must be able to articulate it to members, external organisations and the media.

The COS is editor of both Pennant, the Society’s biannual magazine and the Society’s quarterly e-newsletters, contributing and sourcing articles for both and taking them through to publication. Both publications are distributed to the Society’s 55,000 members.

He/she plays an active part in the Society’s extensive briefing programme, lecturing to audiences both serving and retired as appropriate.

COS leads on commercial arrangements with Affiliate partners and on all legal matters.

The Society is governed by a Board of Directors which meets quarterly and delegates certain functions to committees. The COS attends all director and committee meetings, acting as adviser / secretary and is responsible for minuting meetings as appropriate.

The COS must be a capable leader and manager. The job is not rank related but the equivalent experience associated with OF-5 rank or above would be a distinct advantage. A background in the Armed Forces together with an interest in the welfare of the Armed Forces community is essential. The reputation of the Society rests upon the quality of its staff and their demeanour; the successful candidate plays a key role in setting the right tone and ensuring the CE’s direction is being observed. The COS must enjoy both the confidence of the staff, members of the Society and external interlocutors.

Person Specification

  • Ability to lead and direct with authority.
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills including the ability to speak authoritatively and clearly both to individuals and in public, to write clearly and succinctly and articulate the Society’s stance on particular issues.
  • Sound analytical skills and judgement.
  • Ability to prioritise well.
  • Organised and accurate with a good grasp of detail.
  • Ability to assimilate new information quickly and tell the wood from the trees.
  • Ability to make things happen.
  • Credibility when dealing with Society members.
  • A true believer in the work of the Society and empathy with both leadership and membership.
  • Team player with a broad outlook.
  • Self-motivated and enthusiastic.
  • Energy to sustain and develop current levels of activity.
  • Ability to inspire trust in the organisation amongst Society members and outside interlocutors.

Overall package of around £70,000 negotiable (comprising basic salary £60.5K; London Weighting £3.5K and 10% pension contribution £6.05K) depending on experience.  Some working from home is the norm, currently one day a week.

How to Apply

The List is retained to receive all applications, of a focused CV and covering letter by 1st July which must be submitted to

The aim is to conduct short-list interviews in the week of 15th July with the appointee able to take up the position in September.

Our Executive Members

By @Cobseo 54 years ago

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