Retained Modified Scheme
The exclusion of retained firefighters from the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme 1992 was challenged under the Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 and a settlement was reached. Because of this settlement, the Retained Modified Scheme was created.
The following information is for members of the Retained Modified Scheme.
How is my membership worked out?
If you are a retained firefighter, your membership is worked out using your pay. The pensionable pay that you have received for a scheme year is compared with the full-time equivalent rate of pay for your role.
A retained firefighter has worked for three years, from 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2010. The full-time equivalent level of pay for their role over the same three-year period is:
- 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008 > £24,000
- 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009 > £26,000
- 1 April 2009 to 30 March 2010 > £28,000
The actual pay received by the firefighter was:
- 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008 > £6,500
- 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009 > £4,000
- 1 April 2009 to 30 March 2010 > £8,500
The pensionable service is worked out as:
- 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008 > £6,500 / £24,000 = 27.08% of a year
- 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009 > £4,000 / £26,000 = 15.38% of a year
- 1 April 2009 to 30 March 2010 > £8,500 / £28,000 = 30.36%of a year
Total pensionable service = 0.7282 of a year
If you work part time the contributions you pay is based on the full-time rate in relation to the duties of your role. This means that although you’ll only pay contributions on the pay you earn, your contribution band is based on the full-time equivalent annual salary for your role.
Pension contribution pay bands 2018/19
|Pensionable pay band||Contribution rate|
|Up to and including £15,609||11.00%|
|More than £15,609 and up to and including £21,852||12.2%|
|More than £21,852 and up to and including £31,218||14.2%|
|More than £31,218 and up to and including £41,624||14.7%|
|More than £41,624 and up to and including £52,030||15.2%|
|More than £52,030 and up to and including £62,436||15.5%|
|More than £62,436 and up to and including £104,060||16.0%|
|More than £104,060 and up to and including £124,872||16.5%|
|More than £124,872||17.0%|
Leaving the Retained Modified Scheme before retirement
If you don’t want to be a member of the Retained Modified Scheme you can cancel your membership; this is called opting out. To opt out you must fill in an opt out form. This form should be given to Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service. They will stop taking pension contributions and tell us you have opted out.
You can’t opt back in to the Retained Modified Scheme. But, you would be allowed to join another pension scheme provided by Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service.
Under ‘automatic enrolment’ the authority must put members who have opted out back into a pension scheme every three years. This would be the 2006 Scheme or the 2015 Scheme depending age. These members can opt out again if they wish.
If you leave the Retained Modified Scheme before retirement you would get deferred benefits. A deferred pension would normally be paid at age 60.
These benefits would be worked out using the formula:
annual pension = 1/45 x pensionable service x final pensionable pay.
If you leave the Retained Modified Scheme, you may be able to transfer your pension benefits to another pension scheme.
If you leave Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service and transfer to another fire authority, if there is no break in service between employments, you could stay a member of the Retained Modified Scheme. However, if you leave to become a firefighter in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, a transfer payment would be paid because different funding arrangements apply.
When can I retire?
The normal retirement age for your pension is 55. If you retire at or after this age, your pension would be put into immediate payment.
A firefighter with sufficient service can qualify for an ill-health pension if they’re considered permanently disabled for the performance of their job.
As a member of the Retained Modified Scheme, if you were considered permanently unable to undertake your role as a firefighter, you could retire on the ill-health terms of the standard 2006 scheme.
What if I die in service?
If you were to die in active service, a death grant would be due.
This would be either:
(a) twice your actual (retained) pensionable pay at the date of death
(b) twice a proportion of the pensionable pay of a whole-time regular firefighter in a similar role.
In the case of (b), the proportion would be based on the total pensionable service given to you at the date of death, and your total qualifying service.
If you’re a retired member and you die under age 75, having received a pension for less than five years, a post-retirement death grant may be due. This would be based on the difference between the amount of pension you’ve already had and the pension that would have been due over the five-year period.
No death grant is due if you are a deferred pension who had not yet taken your benefits.
You can choose who you want to receive your death grant, however Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service make the final decision as to who pay the death grant to. However, your wishes will be considered when a decision is made.
- Spouse and partner pensions
When you die a pension may be paid to your surviving spouse, civil partner or nominated partner.
The pension due would be:
- If you’re an active firefighter– half the higher tier award which you would’ve received if you’d retired on ill-health grounds
- In you’re a retired firefighter– half your pension
- If you are a deferred firefighter who hasn’t yet taken benefits – half the deferred benefits.
If your spouse or partner is more than 12 years younger than you, the pension as mentioned above will be reduced. This would be by 2.5% for every year or part year over of the 12 years, to a maximum of 50%.
A spouse’s or partner’s pension is paid for life even if your spouse or partner remarries, or form another civil partnership.
- Child’s pension
To receive a child’s pension your child must be under age 18, or age 23 and in full-time education. However, this pension would stop on their marriage, civil partnership or paid employment, if earlier. A child who is permanently disabled may be entitled to receive a pension for life.
The amount of child’s pension due would depend upon the number of children. Also, if the child or children have a surviving parent.
- Bereavement pension
For the first 13 weeks after your death, your spouse or partner will get a ‘bereavement pension’. This tops up their pension to the level of your pensionable pay if you die in service, or your pension if you die after retirement.
As a retained firefighter, pensionable pay for this purpose will be a proportion of that paid to a whole-time regular firefighter in a similar role and with a similar length of service.
There is no bereavement pension due if you are a deferred member who hasn’t yet taken your benefits at the date of death.