New recruits to the Armed Forces may have to work five years longer before they can start claiming their pensions under cost-saving plans being considered by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
Proposals out for consultation would see service personnel have to work to 45 before becoming eligible for the so-called early departure payment.
Members of the Army, Navy and RAF can currently claim the payment at 40.
The MoD said the benefits of serving personnel would not be affected as any changes would only affect new recruits.
The plan, disclosed by The Daily Telegraph, is being considered as part of the MoD's review of employment conditions following the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, which will also see the Army cut from 102,000 to 82,000 soldiers.
An MoD spokesman said no decisions had yet been taken on the early departure payment. "All public sector workers are facing changes to their pensions and the military are not immune from these changes," the spokesman said.
"However, the Government has protected the accrued rights of those on existing Armed Forces pension schemes and there will be no change to the age at which those currently serving can expect to draw those accrued rights.
"The Armed Forces also benefit from a non-contributory scheme unlike most other Government employees.
"The MoD is consulting with service personnel over future pension changes, which are likely to include an adjustment to the amount of service required to become eligible for an early departure payment.
"The earliest this can be drawn by anyone joining the Armed Forces today is 40 and the MoD is considering whether this could be extended to 45. No final decisions have been made."