Firefighters' Compensation Scheme
The Compensation (Injury) Scheme Order 2006 means that injured firefighters could receive a non-taxable injury pension (subject to qualifying conditions) and a lump-sum injury gratuity.
You don’t need to be a member of the Firefighter Pension Scheme to be considered. The following employees and dependants, subject to satisfying the qualifying conditions, could receive an injury award:
- whole time/part time firefighter
- retained firefighter
- volunteer firefighter
- other employees of a fire and rescue authority (only in certain circumstances and at the discretion of the authority)
- surviving spouse, civil partner or child of a firefighter
- a dependent relative of a firefighter (at the discretion of the fire and rescue authority)
- firefighters undergoing Reserve Forces Service.
There are different scheme rules and levels of cover depending on whether you are employed as a wholetime firefighter or retained firefighter; and the date that you became employed with the fire service/amount of service accrued.
A Gratuity is worked out based on a percentage of your ‘average pensionable pay’. The percentage is set, according to your degree of disablement which is decided by an Independent Qualified Medical Practitioner (IQMP). This is then adjusted to take into account any part time service you may have worked during your employment.
The Injury Pension
An injury Pension would be worked out based on a percentage of your ‘average pensionable pay’. This percentage is according to the degree of disablement determined by an Independent Qualified Medical Practitioner (IQMP) and in addition, the amount of service that you have accrued. It is pro-rated to reflect any part time service you may have worked.
The Injury Pension Award is then reduced by:
- 75% of your pre-commuted annual ill-health pension, where applicable, paid because of your injury under the FPS / NFPS. If you have opted out of the NFPS, the percentage deducted would be 100%.
- certain state benefits* that you are entitled to from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) that relate to the relevant injury (currently Employment Support Allowance (replacing incapacity benefit) and Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit).
Please be aware that an injury pension qualifies as an underlying minimum income guarantee which is payable to ‘top up’ any DWP benefits that you may be entitled to, ensuring that an employee receives the determined minimum income level. In some cases, your DWP benefits will be more the injury pension minimum guarantee, which would mean the injury pension will not be paid. A claim for relevant DWP benefits must be made and if no claim has been made, the maximum rate of benefit must be assumed and deducted in line with the Compensation Scheme Order 2006, unless written confirmation from the DWP is provided to confirm otherwise.