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:
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.