• Firefighter Member Banner 2015 Scheme
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    This section of the website is for firefighters who joined the Fire & Rescue service from 1st April 2015, or who transfer into this scheme at a later date, from either the 1992 or 2006 Scheme.

    The Firefighters Pension Scheme 2015 (FPS 2015) operates as a Career Average Revalued Earnings (CARE) scheme, which is a form of defined benefit pension scheme. The pension a firefighter will earn each year is based on their pensionable pay in that year and is increased by a set revaluation rate, linked to inflation, for each year up to retirement or leaving. The final pension is calculated by adding together the pension earned in each year of membership.

    Key Features
    • All new recruits to the Fire & Rescue service from 1st April 2015 become members of the FPS 2015, unless they opted out of the scheme.
    • Firefighters will contribute between 10% and 14.5% of their pay depending on the amount of their pay.
    • FPS 2015 is a CARE scheme where the firefighter builds up their pension pot each year based on the pensionable pay that they receive each year over the length of their scheme membership.
    • FPS 2015 is funded by the contributions from firefighters and Fire & Rescue authorities, topped up by central Government.
    Pension benefits for firefighters
    • The normal retirement age for firefighters in the FPS 2015 is 60.
    • Retirement prior to age 60 is permissible subject to an early retirement reduction.
    • Retirement after age 60 is permissible subject to a late retirement increase.
    • An FPS 2015 pension pot is revalued each year in line with Average Weekly Earnings index until pension payments begin to be made to the retired firefighter.
    • The FPS 2015 allows for the option to commute some of the pension pot to provide a tax-free lump sum.
    • A pension granted to a firefighter because of ill-health is payable immediately from any age, providing the firefighter has been in the scheme for three months or more.
    • Pensions in payment are generally 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 for death in service (life Assurance).
    • The opportunity to nominate who should receive any death grant.
    • A pension for a widow, widower, surviving civil partner or cohabiting partner, after three months' qualifying service in the scheme.
    • An adult dependant's pension is normally half of the firefighter's pension entitlement (calculated as if the firefighter had retired ill-health grounds).
    • Dependent children under the age of 23 may qualify for a pension.
    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 the pension to be paid.
    Other Features
    • FPS 2015 can generally accept transfers from other pension schemes, with more favourable benefits if transferred within the first twelve months of being eligible to join the scheme.
    • There is a facility to buy more pension in the FPS 2015.
    • Every firefighter has an opportunity to opt-out of the scheme.
    • An immediate pension is payable to any firefighter at any age who is granted ill-health retirement (subject to being a member of the scheme for at least three months).
    • If a firefighter builds up pension rights in the scheme but leaves the Fire & Rescue service (or opts-out of the scheme) before retirement, they will be eligible for a 'deferred pension' payable at state pension age.
    Medical retirement and ill-health pensions
    • A Fire & Rescue Authority has discretion to retire a firefighter on the grounds that he or she is permanently disabled for the ordinary duties of a member of the fire service.
    • If it is also determined that the firefighter is permanently disabled for any other regular employment, the benefits may be enhanced.
    • An immediate pension is payable to any firefighter at any age who is granted ill-health retirement.
    • The issue of permanent disablement is determined by a doctor and there are appeal rights against medical decisions.
    • Ill-health pensions are increased for inflation throughout their payment.
    • Fire & Rescue Authorities have discretion to review the payment of ill-health awards at intervals.
    • Even if they are judged to be permanently disabled, it does not automatically follow that they will be granted ill-health retirement. The Fire & Rescue Authority will consider whether there are alternative duties that a firefighter could perform and still remain in the service (taking account of their overall capabilities).
    • There are separate arrangements for the payment of injury awards to firefighters who are permanently disabled as the result of an injury on duty, which are outside the FPS 2015.