• Firefighter Member Banner 2006 Scheme
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    This section of the website is for Firefighters who joined the Fire & Rescue service between 6 April 2006 and 31 March 2015, or who elected to transfer their accrued Firefighters Pension Scheme 1992 (FPS 1992) benefits to the FPS 2006 in 2006 / 2007 during the national Options Exercise.

    FPS 2006 operates on a final salary basis which means that your pension benefits are based on your pay at the time you leave the force and your length of service.

    Key features

    All new recruits to the Fire & Rescue service between 6 April 2006 and 31 March 2015 became members of FPS 2006, unless they opted-out of the scheme.

    • Firefighters contribute between 8.5% and 12.5% of their pay to the scheme, which represents about one-third of the cost of providing pension benefits.
    • FPS 2006 is a 'final salary' scheme, which means that your pension is calculated as a proportion of your 'final pensionable pay'. This is generally earnings in your last year of service as a member of the scheme.
    • The pension that you will receive depends on your pensionable service, which for most officers will be the length of service in the police force for which you have paid pension contributions, with appropriate adjustments for part-time service.
    • FPS 2006 is funded by the contributions from firefighters and their Fire & Rescue authority, topped up by central Government.
    Pension benefits for firefighters
    • The earliest date that a pension can be paid is 55.
    • 40 years' service is needed for a maximum pension.
    • Each year of pensionable service gives entitlement to a pension of 1/60 of final pay, up to a limit of 40/60.
    • Pensions in payment are increased for inflation.
    Benefits for others on the death of a firefighter
    • A lump sum death grant of three times' a firefighter's pensionable pay, where the firefighter dies in service.
    • A pension for a widow, widower or surviving civil partner, which is normally half of the firefighter's pension entitlement if they had retired on ill-health grounds, where the firefighter dies in service.
    • A partner who is neither a spouse nor a civil partner may be eligible for a pension payable for life, subject to eligibility.
    • Dependent children under the age of 23 may qualify for a pension.
    Other features
    • An immediate pension and lump sum is payable to any firefighter at any age who is granted ill-health retirement.
    • There is a facility to buy more pension in the scheme ('added years') within the overall limit of 40 years.
    • It is possible to exchange all or part of the lump sum for more annual pension.
    • Every firefighter has an opportunity to opt out of the scheme.
    • If you build up pension rights in the scheme but leave the fire service (or opt out of the scheme) before retirement, you will be eligible for a 'deferred pension' payable at age 65.
    Pensions for unmarried partners on the death of a firefighter
    • An important feature of the scheme is the provision for the payment of a pension for life to a firefighter's partner, even if you are not married to each other or in a civil partnership. There are a few conditions that must be met, such as the duration of the relationship, in order for a pension to be paid.
    Medical retirement and ill-health pensions

    A Fire & Rescue authority has discretion to retire a firefighter on medical grounds. In common with other leading public sector pension schemes, there are two levels of ill-health pension:

    • A standard ill-health pension, payable if you are disabled for the ordinary duties of a firefighter. If you are entitled to a standard ill-health pension, you will receive immediate payment of the pension benefits which you have built up at the date of your ill-health retirement.
    • An enhanced top-up ill-health pension, payable in addition to a standard ill-health pension if you are disabled for any regular employment (meaning employment for an annual average of at least 30 hours per week). If you are entitled to an enhanced top-up ill-health pension, you will receive immediate payment of pension benefits as with a standard ill-health pension.

    The level of disability is determined by a doctor and there are appeal rights against medical decisions. Both types of pension will be increased for inflation for as long as they are paid. Fire & Rescue authorities have discretion to review the payment of ill-health awards at intervals.

    Even if you are judged to be disabled, it does not automatically follow that you will be granted ill-health retirement. The Fire & Rescue authority will consider whether there are alternative duties that you could perform and still remain in the service (taking account of your overall capabilities).

    There are separate arrangements for the payment of injury awards to firefighters who suffer injury on duty, which are outside the pension scheme.

    Other points
    • The scheme does not have a formal Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVC) arrangement, but you are free to make contributions to personal pension schemes as well as the FPS scheme within very wide limits.
    • It is possible for deferred pensions (payable at age 65) to be paid early on request, but this will be subject to 'actuarial reduction' to reflect that they will be paid earlier and for a longer period.