Welcome to the pension website for serving and former firefighters. This site is a hub of pension information which will hopefully serve you well during your career and in your retirement.

 More information about how you can help protect yourself can be found under the 'Transferring' section in the menu above.

View the short Video from the Pensions Regulator.

Latest News

Important Notice - due to COVID-19 - 1st May 2020

The vast majority of XPS is now working from home.

Due to working from home can we please ask that, where possible, correspondence is via email. Due to Covid-19 we are only accessing our office a few days per week to deal with post.

Due to emails being dealt with on a daily basis we would like to suggest that you use this medium to contact the office. If you are unable to use email we are still accepting and dealing with post but not on a daily basis.

NEW LOOK WEBSITE! - 1st May 2020

As part of a wider development of the Member Self Service website, it has undergone an upgrade to the ‘look and feel’ of the site. If you already have an account, your username and password will remain unchanged and you will be able to login as normal using the LOGIN button. However, if you encounter any problems please email mss@xpsgroup.com or telephone 01642 030695.

There are more changes planned to the site to bring additional functionality and we will add updates to the site as and when these further developments are complete.

The website can be accessed at: https://www.myownpension.org.uk

If you have not registered and wish to do so, please click here and follow the registration guide to signup.

Update of transitional protections remedy (Sargeant) - updated 29th April 2020

XPS Administration are aware of the initial outcome from the case Management hearing held on 18th December 2019 which forms part of the pensions challenge.

The hearing provided an interim decision affecting upcoming retirements for transition members and potential ill health retirements however, before we act, we must wait for further guidance from the Home Office.

Anyone considering retiring having met the age and length of service requirements of the 1992 scheme should contact their local FBU officials before taking action.

We understand that everyone is eager to receive information and guidance on the remedy. However, implementation is every complex given that some members will be better off in the new scheme and there are a number of issues that need central government direction which are being considered by HMT with the input of other Government Departments.

Until this time the position remains that all entitlements should proceed under the 2015 scheme rules for the time being. Those that are due to taper still do and those due to retire normally at a later date should continue in the 2015 scheme.

Please see the factsheet produced by the Home Office for further information

This position may be subject to change, any further information will be communicated here.

FPS 2006 - Special Members - updated 29th April 2020

HMRC have received claims for refunds of National Insurance Contribution's in relation to retained firefighters who have taken up backdated membership of their employer's pension scheme as special pension members of FPS 2006. The relevant forms for completion have now been issued to FRA's by HMRC to allow them to process the refunds.

Pension Increase 2020 - updated 29th April 2020

On 25 February 2020, HM Treasury confirmed that public service pensions will be increased by 1.7% from 6 April 2020, in line with the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index up to September 2019.

Revaluation for active members of FPS 2015 is applied in line with Average Weekly Earnings up to September 2019. The figure for the earnings element of revaluation is 4 %.

Update on McCloud/Sargeant age discrimination case - updated 29th April 2020

On 25th March 2020, John Glen the Economic Secretary to the Treasury made written statement.

HCWS187 regarding the progress towards remedy following the McCloud/Sargeant age discrimination. The statement confirms that no qualifying scheme member will need to make a claim for the remedy to apply to them.

FPS 2015 Transitional Protections Challenge Update - updated 16th July 2019

The outcome of the Governments application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court was expected in July. The decision has been made earlier than expected and on 27th June 2019 the Supreme Court has denied the Governments request for an appeal in the transitional protections case in respect of age discrimination and pension protection.

Until the remedy has been determined by the employment tribunal and any regulations changed as a result, we cannot speculate how future benefits may change.

We will update you with further news on each stage of the challenge as and when it becomes available.

Recent rule changes to same sex survivor benefits - Equal survivor benefits for same-sex partner - updated 19th June 2019

Following a legal judgement Walker v Innospec, changes have been made to the 1992 Firefighters' Pension Scheme and the Firefighters Compensation Scheme.

The judgment considered the restrictions of service within the calculation of a surviving survivor's partner pension for civil partners and same sex marriages unlawful. These changes come into effect from 1 April 2019.

Members of FPS1992 who are in same sex civil partnerships and same sex marriages will now receive the same survivor benefits that widows in opposite-sex marriages already receive.

Please note that if you are a firefighter member (whether you are active, have left or retired) and in a civil partnership or same sex marriage, you do not need to do anything, the survivors pension payable on your death will automatically be calculated based on your full service with no restriction applied.

If you think you or someone you know may be affected by this rule change please ask them to contact us to find out more.

Changes to Pensions - updated 21st December 2018

The court of appeal has ruled that the Government's changes to pensions with regard to judges and firefighters were discriminatory on the grounds of age. These cases were brought due to changes to public sector pensions in 2015, which also affected other public sector schemes including the police pension scheme.

The Government will now need to consider the full judgement. We are therefore unable to provide you with any information on might happen next. We understand that any communication from the Home Office is unlikely until the New Year.

The full judgement and a summary is available at https://www.judiciary.uk/judgments/lord-chancellor-v-mccloud-and-others-judgment/

Acquisition of the Kier Pensions Unit by XPS - updated October 2018

Kier has entered an agreement to sell its Pension Unit to the XPS Pension Group. This is to occur on 1st November 2018.

XPS Pensions Group is the largest pure pensions consultancy in the UK specialising in pensions actuarial, investment consulting and administration services.

You will see very little change due to this acquisition, In fact, due to the pensions unit now being backed by a pension specialist, it is expected that the service being provided to you will improve over the coming months and years. XPS are committed to developing the Middlesbrough office and are excited to have a 12th centre for pension administration.

If you wish to see further information about XPS, please feel free to visit www.xpsgroup.com.              

Communications will be sent to all scheme members but please do check back here, as we will be providing more information in due course.

Annual Benefit Statements – Active members - updated August 2018
From August 2018, contributing members of the 1992, 2006 and 2015 Firefighters’ Pension Schemes will receive their 2018 Annual Benefit Statement. Unlike previous years, firefighters will receive a version tailored to the particular pension scheme(s), and protection status, they are a member of.

Once again, FPS 1992 scheme members who are, or will be, affected by FPS 2015 will have a second projection at age 55.

Detailed scheme-specific Annual Benefit Statement notes can be found in the ‘ABS’ tab.  In the case of FPS 1992 and FPS 2006 members, the notes are housed as two documents: one set for fully protected members and a second set for those who have (or will at some point) move into FPS 2015

Annual Benefit Statements – Deferred members - updated July 2018
Former scheme members of each of the Firefighters’ Pension Schemes will now be receiving your 2018 Annual Benefit Statement.

We have changed the design this year so that members receive specific notes to accompany your current pension values.

We feel this approach is more meaningful for members with deferred benefits, as your benefits differ depending on the scheme(s) to which your membership relates.

The notes can be found on the ‘Deferred Benefits’ page once the applicable scheme has been selected (from the tabs above).

Please select the scheme that you were a member of at the time you left pensionable service.  So, if you were an FPS 1992 or FPS 2006 member who transitioned into FPS 2015 (at any point from 1 April 2015), please refer to the ‘Deferred Benefits’ page within FPS 2015.

Annual Benefit Statements – Active members updated August 2017
From August 2017, contributing members of the 1992, 2006 and 2015 Firefighters' Pension Schemes will receive their 2017 Annual Benefit Statement.

We have adopted a similar style to that used in 2016, in that it will cater for those members who are (or will be) moved into the Firefighters' Pension Scheme 2015 (FPS 2015).

The main change this year concerns 1992 scheme members' who are, or will be, affected by FPS 2015 - having a second projection at age 55 as well the projection at age 60. Once again, the statements will contain generic notes with scheme-specific Annual Benefit Statement notes housed on the 'Scheme Guides and Forms; page of the member's appropriate scheme.

In the case of FPS 1992 and FPS 2006 members, the notes are housed as two documents: one set for fully protected members and a second set for those who have (or will at some point) move into FPS 2015.

Annual Benefit Statements – Deferred members
From 30 June 2017, former scheme members of each of the Firefighters’ Pension Schemes will receive their 2017 Annual Benefit Statement.  We have kept the design similar to last year, in that members receive generic notes accompanying their current pension values with scheme-specific notes explaining deferred benefits from the particular scheme appropriate to the former scheme member.

The notes can be found on the ‘Deferred Benefits’ page once the applicable scheme has been selected (from the tabs above).

Please select the scheme that you were a member of at the time you left pensionable service.  So, if you were an FPS 1992 or FPS 2006 member who transitioned into FPS 2015 (at any point from 1 April 2015), please refer to the ‘Deferred Benefits’ page within FPS 2015.

Commutation News Last Updated - updated 21st February 2017
The commutation exercise has been completed, but for a handful of payments which we are working on. In the main, these payments are due to the estate of Officers who have passed away.

If you believe that you are entitled to a payment under this review and have not received this yet, get in touch with us by calling 01642 727040 or send an e-mail to us using pencom@xpsgroup.com.

Please could you have a read of the briefing note below to ensure you meet the criteria before getting in touch. If you are not sure, please let us know.



Update on Firefighters who joined FPS 1992 aged 18 – 20 with over 30 years’ service (12th December 2016)

If you are a serving firefighter identified with 30+ years’ membership (and are under age 50), your Fire & Rescue Authority should have already stopped your contributions (around October-time), following the effective legislation coming into force 30 September.   

As you may know, if you remain in service at age 50, your contributions will then resume.   Please note, any contributions that would entitle you to an ‘additional pension benefit’ will continue throughout the contribution holiday period.

Firefighters (and former firefighters) entitled to a refund will be contacted directly by their Authority.  Payment is expected to be made by 31 March 2017 (in most cases).  If you have any questions about any aspect of this exercise, please contact your Fire & Rescue Authority (or former Authority).

Firefighters who joined FPS 1992 aged 18 – 20 with over 30 years’ service

In December 2015, Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) confirmed that the Secretary of State agreed to allow members younger than 50, who have accrued 30 years’ service, to take a contributions holiday from the time they attain 30 years’ reckonable service until they reach age 50.  Where an affected firefighter continues to serve after their 50th birthday, they will need to resume the payment of contributions.

DCLGs confirmed that the FPS 1992 scheme will be amended to give effect of these changes, and will apply retrospectively from 1 December 2006.

Nothing further has been publicised since December 2015, but affected firefighters will be contacted once agreement on the process has been reached.

• Scheme Regulations and Guides Published

The Firefighters' Pension Scheme (England) Regulations 2014 were laid before parliament in October 2014, and came into effect 1/4/2015.

If you would like to see the regulations, these can be found at the site below:
The Firefighters' Pension Scheme (England) Regulations 2014

The Guide can be found within 'Scheme Guides & Forms' section of our 2015 Scheme area.

 

Vancouver House is currently CLOSED to members of the public.

Contact XPS Administration
All of the schemes are administered by XPS Administration from our offices in the North East of England.

Post : XPS Administration
PO Box 485
Middlesbrough
TS1 9EE.
Telephone : (01642) 030692


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To get directions to our office, please click on the link which says 'View Larger Map'. To enable Google street map, please click on the google sign in the bottom left hand corner.

XPS Administration Complaints Policy

This policy is to deal with all grievances pertaining to the actions or otherwise of the Pensions Unit which fall outside of the scope of the Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure relevant to the pension scheme to which your membership relates. For details of the relevant Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure, please contact the Pensions Unit who will provide documentation relating to the process for your pension scheme.

XPS Administration is committed to providing a quality service to all our clients and their members. If you are not satisfied with the level of service you have received from us we would like you to tell us about it. All complaints are taken very seriously and any feedback is appreciated as it provides us with an opportunity to improve our standards.

Complaints Procedure

1. You should forward your complaint to the Pensions Unit in the first instance; postal address and other details can be found above.

2. Upon receipt, your complaint is entered into our complaints matrix and assigned to a member of our Governance Team for investigation; this person will send you written acknowledgement on receipt of your complaint within 5 working days.

3. The assigned member of the Governance Team will then investigate your complaint. This is likely to involve the following steps:

   • Examining your record to ascertain the sequence of relevant events & related correspondence
   • Interviewing the relevant members of staff for clarification on the issue
   • Liaising with senior management as appropriate

4. We aim to acknowledge, fully investigate and respond to all complaints within 10 working days.

5. A full written response to your complaint will be drafted by the appointed member of the Governance Team and be sent to you with supporting documentary evidence (if applicable). In addition, they may escalate your concerns to the relevant Manager or Director who may wish to discuss the events surrounding your complaint directly with you.

6. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can make a written request for escalation of your complaint. The investigation will be reviewed by the Head of Pensions, who will respond directly with his findings and conclusion.

7. If you remain unsatisfied with the decision, you can contact the Pensions Ombudsman who may be able to assist with your case depending upon its nature.

Thinking of transferring out of the Firefighters' Pension Scheme?


Read on and consider very carefully . . . .

XPS Administration has been dealing with transfers in and out of the Firefighters' Pension Schemes for many years.

It has become very apparent where transfers are concerned, that some companies are taking advantage of individuals, particularly those who are keen to access their accrued pension benefits sooner than their scheme allows. This is known as ‘Pensions Liberation’, another term for it could be con-artists.

The Pensions Regulator and XPS Administration are extremely keen to avoid members being duped into making decisions about transferring their benefits which can ultimately cost tens of thousands of pounds and cause huge financial problems for scheme members, many having spent the majority of their lives building up these benefits.

All of the firefighters' pension schemes are extremely comprehensive, insofar as they provide lifelong benefits for you and for your family. They pay pensions that are index-linked, ensuring they maintain their purchasing power over the years and are absolutely guaranteed to continue to be paid regardless of the performance of the marketplace, the solvency of your former employer or any other inherent risks associated with the payment of pensions.

By transferring to another company, you do not have this peace of mind.

It has been known for people to transfer benefits to pension companies who on the face of it, seem completely legitimate. There will generally be a promise of quick early release of cash with the rest to follow (there are various ways that this cash is promised to you). What generally isn't made clear by these companies is the following:

  • These companies will take a cut (often a very large cut) of your transfer value for their efforts
  • If HMRC find that you have been paid this cash early, they will tax any income (including lump sums), up to 55%
  • You will not have any form of income guarantee (no definitive period over which a pension will be paid)
  • You will have no statutory indexation (generally, your pension will not increase)
  • Your family will almost certainly not receive benefits if you die
  • You will lose your employer's contribution towards your pension

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. We would always advise scheme members to take independent financial advice prior to transferring out to a pension scheme.

We do appreciate that there can be a need for instant access to cash. Please consider the many alternatives available to you and avoid the problems that pensions liberation can cause.

Please read through the documents below, these have been prepared by the Pensions Regulator to advise of the pitfalls of transferring to these companies. Here you will see some real life examples of the working of these unscrupulous companies, and may make you think twice about transferring your guaranteed retirement income to a potential scammer.



Annual Benefit Statements

Statements for active members will be issued from August 2019. 
The following notes accompany your statement; please select the document that matches your scheme and protection status.  You should refer to these notes whilst reading your statement.

For Members of FPS 1992, FPS 2006 (standard section) & FPS 2015

• FPS 1992 Fully Protected Member

• FPS 1992 Tapered or Unprotected Member

• FPS 2006 (standard section) Fully Protected Member

• FPS 2006 (standard section) Tapered or Unprotected Member

• FPS 2015 Only Members

For Members of FPS 2006 (Modified Retained section)

• Fully Protected Member

• Tapered or Unprotected Member