• Firefighter Member Banner Leaving the Scheme

    A firefighter can opt-out of the FPS 2006: Modified Retained Section at any time. A firefighter will need to complete and return an option form available from XPS administration team. If they do opt-out of the FPS, their decision will take effect from their next pay day after receipt of their notice to opt-out out.

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

    • The firefighter will be entitled to a deferred pension (and become a Special deferred pensioner), which would generally be payable from age 60;
    • If the firefighter dies in service when they had opted-out of FPS 2006: Modified Retained Section, no lump sum death grant is payable;
    • As the firefighter is not an active member of FPS 2006: Modified Retained Section they 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 are assessed as permanently disabled for all regular employment;
    • Opting-out will affect the benefits which are payable to their survivors;
    • A firefighter cannot re-join the FPS 2006: Modified Retained Section, only the 'standard' FPS 2006 (if they re-join within five years of opting-out, and are older than 46) or the FPS 2015 (if they re-join within five years, but are younger than 46, or they re-join after five 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-outs out of the FPS 2006: Modified Retained Section, they cannot re-join it. If the firefighter was paying for their benefits over a 10-year period, a proportionate benefit, based on what was paid, at the point of opting-out, will be granted. They can only join the FPS 2006 or the FPS 2015 (depending on the protection status, and how long ago it was they opted-out).

    Automatic enrolment, introduced under the Pensions Act 2008, could affect firefighters who have opted-out as their Fire & Rescue Authority will enrol them back into a pension scheme (FPS 2006 or FPS 2015 as described above) every three years. Firefighters will have to opt-out again.