As a member of FPS 2006, the benefits payable to a firefighter are calculated by reference to their final salary and length of service. Pension benefits accrue at a rate of 1/60th of salary for each year worked, with each day qualifying for 1/365th of 1/60th. Maximum scheme membership is 40 years. This means a firefighter can secure a pension worth more than half of their salary if they have 30+ years. If they work part time, their service will be apportioned on a pro rata basis. So, if they worked ½ time, for every 2 years they pay into the scheme, they will get 1 years'-worth of service but instead of using their part-time pay in the pension calculation, we will use their whole time equivalent pay.
Up to one quarter of a firefighter's accrued pension can be given up to provide for a tax free lump sum at retirement. The rate of commutation (the rate at which pension is converted to lump sum), is 1:12, meaning that for every pound of annual income given up, they will receive £12 towards a tax free lump sum. Please note, the factor is not specific to age or gender.
The formula for calculating pensions is set out below:
Pension = Length of Service ÷ 60 × Salary
Lump Sum = Pension × 0.25 × 12
If we look at a competent firefighter on a salary £28,766 per annum, Who has completed 35 years pensionable service working whole time, the following is what that firefighter could expect to receive:
(No Lump Sum)
Pension = (35 years ÷ 60) × £28,766 = £16,780
(Maximum Lump Sum)
Pension = (35 years ÷ 60) × £28,766 = £16,780 × 0.75 = £12,585
Lump Sum = Pension × 0.25 (£4,195) × 12 = £50,340