Firefighter Pension FAQs

Frequently asked questions about the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme.

1992 Scheme FAQs

What is a Final Salary pension (for wholetime firefighters)?

If you joined a firefighter scheme before 1 April 2015, you will have been a member of a Final Salary scheme until you moved over to the CARE scheme (see What is a CARE pension?). This means that your retirement income (relating to this period) is calculated using your final year’s salary (or your highest annual salary within the last three years of employment).

If you joined before 2006 (so are with the 1992 scheme), 1/60th of your final salary will paid out as a separate part of your pension for each year of the first 20 years you were a member. 2/60th will then be added for each year after that. If you joined in 2006 or after (so are with the 2006 scheme), 1/60th of your final salary will be added each year. If you were a part-time employee, this will be reduced according to the hours you worked.

Along with any CARE pension you build up, these figures will help to make up your annual retirement income.

Your Annual Benefit Statement, otherwise known as your ABS, shows you the pension benefits you’ve built up to date. It also shows the amount that’s payable as a death grant, as well as the current amount in your survivors’ pension. This is the ongoing pension that will be provided for your spouse or registered civil partner. For more information about the ABS, please visit: Reports & Statements, Annual Benefit Statement

An ongoing pension is provided for your spouse, registered civil partner and, subject to certain qualifying conditions, eligible children. There is no provision to pay to a cohabiting partner.

An ongoing pension is provided for your spouse, registered civil partner and, subject to certain qualifying conditions, eligible children. There is no provision to pay to a cohabiting partner.

An amount which is two times your pensionable pay will be paid to your spouse/estate as a death grant, there is no option to nominate who receives this payment.  An ongoing pension is provided for your spouse, registered civil partner and, subject to certain qualifying conditions, eligible children. There is no provision to pay to a cohabiting partner.

The scheme pays benefits to a legal spouse or civil partner.  There is no provision for cohabiting benefits.  If you are already in receipt of your pension benefits then the date of the marriage/Civil partnership can affect the level of the dependents pension.

If you have the maximum membership of 30 years on your retirement or have reached your Normal Retirement Age you may commute up to a ¼ of your pension for a lump sum. For each £1 of pension you give up you would receive a lump sum based on the factors provided by GAD and are based on your age at retirement. Please note that if you take the maximum lump sum some of it may be subject to a tax charge.

This would be the date on which you have been a member of the scheme for 30 years taking into account any transferred in membership and any breaks in membership for which you have not paid contributions, for example strike days.

2006 Scheme FAQs

What is a Final Salary pension (for wholetime firefighters)?

If you joined a firefighter scheme before 1 April 2015, you will have been a member of a Final Salary scheme until you moved over to the CARE scheme (see What is a CARE pension?). This means that your retirement income (relating to this period) is calculated using your final year’s salary (or your highest annual salary within the last three years of employment).

If you joined before 2006 (so are with the 1992 scheme), 1/60th of your final salary will paid out as a separate part of your pension for each year of the first 20 years you were a member. 2/60th will then be added for each year after that. If you joined in 2006 or after (so are with the 2006 scheme), 1/60th of your final salary will be added each year. If you were a part-time employee, this will be reduced according to the hours you worked.

Along with any CARE pension you build up, these figures will help to make up your annual retirement income.

Your Annual Benefit Statement, otherwise known as your ABS, shows you the pension benefits you’ve built up to date. It also shows the amount that’s payable as a death grant, as well as the current amount in your survivors’ pension. This is the ongoing pension that will be provided for your spouse, registered civil partner or, subject to certain qualifying conditions, eligible cohabiting partner. For more information about the ABS, please visit: Reports & Statements, Annual Benefit Statement

If you have been on pension for less than 5 years a death grant payment will be payable equal to five times your annual pension, minus the pension already paid since you retirement. An ongoing pension is provided for your spouse, registered civil partner or, subject to certain qualifying conditions, eligible cohabiting partner and eligible children.

An ongoing pension is provided for your spouse, registered civil partner or, subject to certain qualifying conditions, eligible cohabiting partner and eligible children.

An amount which is three times your pensionable pay will be paid  as a death grant in accordance with your nominated beneficiary or beneficiaries request.  An ongoing pension is provided for your spouse, registered civil partner or, subject to certain qualifying conditions, eligible cohabiting partner and eligible children.

The 2006 scheme pays dependents benefits to spouse’s, civil partners and also cohabiting partners who meet certain criteria.

You are able to give up a ¼ of your pension for a lump sum For each £1 of pension you give up you would receive a lump sum of £12.

2015 Scheme FAQs

If you joined a Firefighter pension scheme on or after 1 April 2015, you will have a Career Average Revalued Earnings pension (CARE pension for short). This is based on your average earnings (pensionable pay) over the course of your career – including salary, bonuses, overtime, maternity/paternity pay.

Each year, 1/59.7th of your pensionable pay is put into your pension account to make up your annual retirement income. At the end of the year, your pension account is adjusted to reflect inflation. This happens every year and as your account grows, so too does your annual retirement income.

Your Annual Benefit Statement, otherwise known as your ABS, shows you the pension benefits you’ve built up to date. It also shows the amount that’s payable as a death grant, as well as the current amount in your survivors’ pension. This is the ongoing pension that will be provided for your spouse, registered civil partner or, subject to certain qualifying conditions, eligible cohabiting partner. For more information about the ABS, please visit: Reports & Statements, Annual Benefit Statement

If you have been on pension for less than 5 years a death grant payment will be payable equal to five times your annual pension, minus the pension already paid since you retirement.  An ongoing pension is provided for your spouse, registered civil partner or, subject to certain qualifying conditions, eligible cohabiting partner and eligible children.

An ongoing pension is provided for your spouse, registered civil partner or, subject to certain qualifying conditions, eligible cohabiting partner and eligible children.

An amount which is three times your pensionable pay will be paid  as a death grant in accordance with your nominated beneficiary or beneficiaries request.  An ongoing pension is provided for your spouse, registered civil partner or, subject to certain qualifying conditions, eligible cohabiting partner and eligible children.

The 2015 scheme pays dependents benefits to spouse’s, civil partners and also cohabiting partners who meet certain criteria.

You are able to give up a ¼ of your pension for a lump sum For each £1 of pension you give up you would receive a lump sum of £12.

Others

Getting divorced does not affect your benefits unless a Pension Sharing Order is placed against the benefits by the Court. If a sharing order is made then your benefits will be reduced and your ex-spouse will be awarded pension benefits in the scheme.

If you wish to opt into the scheme please complete the opt in form and send onto your Employer/Payroll department, who will bring you into the scheme and forward your details to us. Should you elect to re-join the scheme you should note you will be opting in to the current active scheme as at the date you re-join. General Pensions Information, Transfer In

If you wish to opt out of the scheme please complete the opt out form and send to your Employer/Payroll department, who will cease your deductions and inform us accordingly.

If you have left employment with the Firefighters’ you may be able to transfer your benefits to another pension scheme which satisfies certain requirements. An essential requirement is that the scheme must be a UK tax registered pension scheme and must not provide ‘flexible benefits’. Generally, a ‘flexible benefit’ is a pension benefit which is calculated by reference to an amount of money such as money purchase or cash balance benefits.

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