A total of 305 staff in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have taken early retirement in the two years up to 1 July 2008, of whom 19 were FCO services staff. The reasons for granting early retirement range from redundancy to ill health. During this period, there were two restructuring exercises which led to a higher than expected number of early retirements: one reduced the size of the FCO's senior management structure by almost 20 per cent.; and the other involved the closure of a number of business units in preparation for the launch of FCO Services as a Trading Fund from April 2008.
All payments to those who took early retirement with compensation were made in strict accordance with the terms of the Civil Service Compensation scheme.