• Firefighter Member Banner Leaving the Scheme
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    A firefighter can opt-out of the FPS 2006 at any time. They will need to complete and return an option form available from XPS administration team. If a firefighter does opt-out of the FPS 2006, the firefighter's decision will take effect from their next pay day after receipt of their notice to opt-out.

    Opting-out of the FPS 2006 will have a number of consequences, including:

    • If a firefighter opts-out within three months of joining, they will receive a refund of their contributions. However, this may not be as much as they think as the amount will be reduced by the tax relief they received on those contributions whilst a member of the scheme.  In addition, any Scheme membership before 6 April 2016 would have seen firefighters pay reduced National Insurance contributions as well due to the Scheme being contracted-out until that date.  Although contracting-out ended for all pension schemes on 6 April 2016, a refund of contributions will also have a deduction made in recognition of contracted-out membership. Essentially these deductions from the refund restore the position as if the firefighter had never joined in the first place. No retirement or death benefits will be paid to the firefighter or their dependents.
    • If a firefighter opts-out after three months of joining FPS 2006, they will be entitled to a deferred pension, which would generally be payable from age 65.
    • If a firefighter dies in service when they have opted-out of FPS 2006, no lump sum death grant is payable.
    • As someone who is not an active member of FPS 2006 the firefighter will not be eligible for an ill-health pension if they are medically retired, although they will qualify for early payment of their deferred pension (if they opted-out after three months of joining) if they are assessed as permanently disabled for all regular employment.
    • Opting-out will affect the benefits which are payable to their survivors.
    • A firefighter can re-join the FPS; if a firefighter re-joins within five years of opting-out, and is older than 46, or the FPS 2015 if they re-join within 5 years, but is younger than 46, or they re-join after 5 years of opting-out.

    A member is strongly recommended to seek independent financial advice before taking any action. Their Fire & Rescue Authority is not empowered to give any financial advice.

    Opportunities to re-join at a later date

    If a firefighter opts-out of the FPS 2006, they can join a fire scheme at a later date; whether this is the FPS 2006 or the FPS 2015 will depend on how long ago it was since they opted-out and whether or not they qualify for protection.