New loans announced for long term sailors

Published on CMDR Fenn Kemp (author), ABIS Steven Thomson (photographer)

Topic(s): Retention, RAN Relief Trust Fund

File image: Officers and sailors from eastern based ships and establishments fall out from a group photograph on the flight deck of HMAS Canberra at the conclusion of Fleet Divisions in Garden Island, Sydney, in December 2017. (photo: ABIS Steven Thomson)
File image: Officers and sailors from eastern based ships and establishments fall out from a group photograph on the flight deck of HMAS Canberra at the conclusion of Fleet Divisions in Garden Island, Sydney, in December 2017.

Members who have served 7 years or more will be eligible for interest-free loans of up to $7,000 under a new initiative by the RAN’s Relief Trust Fund announced this month.

Under the current system, Navy personnel can currently apply for General Purpose loans of up to $6,000 from the RAN Relief Trust Fund. The Deputy Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Mark Hammond says more substantial financial recognition of long-term sailors will be rolled out in 2019 but this increase is a formal recognition by the RANRTF of the commitment sailors and their families have given to the RAN.

"Offering $7,000 after seven years of service will greatly benefit many of our members and their families," DCN said.

"It’s a small gesture but an important one by the RAN Relief Trust Fund as we strive to improve conditions of service for our people." 

RANRTF loans are increasingly popular amongst RAN members. 2,021members are currently benefiting from loans with a total value of more than $8,000,000. The money can be used on a wide range of expenses including household items, renovations, holidays, special events, medical, education and vehicles.

Additionally, Special Purpose loans of $5,000 can be made to members facing financial hardship, legal or compassionate debts. Loans are normally approved and paid within two to three weeks after the RANRTF Principal Office receives the correctly completed loan application.

The Director of Navy People, Policy and Governance CAPT Phil Henry says the move is most welcome.

"While this increase is separate to Navy’s overall retention campaign, the RANRTF is to be congratulated for this move," CAPT Henry said.

"It’s important for our people to know what extra benefits, such as RANRTF loans, their service in the RAN provides, and that applies particularly to those who have shown a commitment to Navy.

"Navy is continuing to develop our own retention initiatives and we hope to be in a position to put forward a detailed retention proposal in 2019."

The Royal Australian Navy Relief Trust Fund was established in 1913 with the object of providing welfare assistance to serving and ex-serving members of the RAN and their families. The RANRTF provides a range of financial products and services in the form of General Purpose loans, Christmas loans, grants and Special loans for reasons that may fall outside the guidelines for the specified products.

The new $7,000 loan product will be available for eligible members from January 2019.