Firefighters’ 1992 Scheme
The Firefighters’ Pension Scheme 1992 is a defined benefit pension scheme. The 1992 Scheme is closed to new firefighters and it isn’t possible to transfer other pension benefits into the scheme. To be a member, you must’ve joined before 1 April 2006.
The following pages apply only to those firefighter members who retain membership of the 1992 Scheme.
How is my pension worked out?
The 1992 Scheme is a final salary scheme. This means your pension will be a proportion of final average pensionable pay. For each of the first 20 years of pensionable service, you will get 1/60th of average pensionable pay. For each following year you will get 2/60ths of average pensionable pay. Each day of pensionable service will count as 1/365th of a year.
For example, if you retire at 55, with 24 years’ pensionable service and average pensionable pay of £28,000, your pension would be –
(20 x 1/60) + (4 x 2/60) x £28,000 = 28/60 x £28,000 = £13,066.66 a year
Your contribution rate is based on your pensionable pay. The current contribution bands for 2018/19 are:
|Pensionable pay||Contribution rate|
|Up to and including £15,609||11.0%|
|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 1992 Scheme before retirement
If you don’t want to be a member of the 1992 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 the Fire and Rescue Authority. They will stop taking pension contributions and tell us that you have opted out.
You can’t opt back in to the 1992 Scheme, as it closed in 2006. 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 on your age. These members can opt out again if they wish.
If you leave the 1992 Scheme before retirement you would get deferred pension benefits.
A deferred pension is worked out by looking at the ‘hypothetical’ pension you would have received if your pensionable service had continued to your normal pension age. Then the hypothetical pension is then ‘pro-rated’ according to the period served.
A deferred pension would normally be paid at age 60.
If you leave the 1992 Scheme, you may be able to transfer your pension benefits to another pension scheme.
If you leave Shropshire Fire & Rescue Authority and transfer to another Fire Authority, if there’s no break in service between employments, you could stay in the 1992 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?
An ordinary pension is payable to a firefighter at age 50 or over with at least 25 years’ service. A short service pension is payable at age 55 or over to members with less than 25 years’ service but more than two years’ service.
A firefighter, with at least two years’ service, can qualify for an ill-health pension. Before deciding to make such an award, the authority will seek the opinion of an Independent Qualified Medical Practitioner.
There are two tiers of an ill-health award. If you have at least two, but less than five years, of service you could get a lower tier ill-health pension. To get a lower tier pension you must be permanently disabled for the performance of the duties of your role.
A higher tier can be awarded if you have been a member for at least five years and are permanently disabled for the performance of the duties of your role and you are not capable of undertaking regular employment. Regular employment is defined in this context as employment for at least 30 hours a week on average for over a period of not less than 12 consecutive months.
What if I die in service?
If you were to die in active service, a death grant would be due. This would normally be twice your pensionable pay.
The death grant would be paid to your spouse or civil partner if you weren’t living apart when you died. If you were unmarried, not in a civil partnership, or ‘living apart’; the death grant would be paid to your personal representative.
There’s no death grant due if you’ve left or opted out, at your date of death.
- Spouse and Partner pensions
When you die, a pension may be due to your surviving spouse or civil partner.
The pension due to a widow or widower of an opposite sex marriage would be:
- If you’re an active member– half of the total lower and higher tier ill-health pensions to which you would have received if you’d retired on health grounds
- In you’re a retired firefighter and your marriage took place before you stopped being a firefighter – half your pension as worked out before any reduction was made for commutation and/or allocation;
- If you are a deferred firefighter who hasn’t yet taken benefits – half the deferred pension.
The widow or widower of a same sex marriage or surviving civil partner, would receive a similar pension as shown above. But, it would only include service from 6 April 1988.
If you’re a former firefighter who’s married after leaving the service, the surviving spouse’s pension would be worked out as either:
- pensionable service (after 5 April 1978) x 1/160 x your average pensionable pay
- 1/2 x service (after 5 April 1978) / total pensionable service x firefighter’s pension
whichever is more.
The spouses’ or civil partners’ pension would stop if your spouse or partner remarried or entered a new 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 following death, your spouse or partner will receive a ‘bereavement pension’. The pension is the difference between the survivor’s pensions and
- In the case of death in service, the weekly rate of your pensionable pay at the date of death.
- In the case of death while in receipt of a pension, the weekly rate of your pension being paid at the date of death, including any Pensions Increase.
A bereavement pension isn’t paid to if you’ve opted out, or have deferred benefits which weren’t in payment at the date of death.
What is a tapered member?
The Firefighter’s Pension Scheme changed in April 2015. You‘re a tapered member if you’re a member of the 1992 Scheme, who’ll be moved into the 2015 Scheme when your protection expires. The age taper applies if you were a 1992 Scheme member who on 1 April 2012 was between 41 and 45 years of age.
At the end of your protected period you’ll start in the 2015 scheme. However, any pension already built up before this date is fully protected. The pension you have built up previously will still be worked out on your final pay when you retire.
When will I be moved into the 2015 Scheme?
The date you’ll be moved into the 2015 Scheme depends on your date of birth. The below table gives an example of dates when tapered members would be moved into the 2015 scheme. Your taper date is personal to you and will have be confirmed individually.
|Date of birth||Date of birth||End of protection|