Family benefits and changes to marital status in the 1992 Scheme
As part of your membership of the FPS your family are also entitled to certain benefits. In particular, in the event of your death, your loved ones may be entitled to a survivor’s pension.
Please remember to notify the pensions team of any changes to your marital status and you may want to update your expression of wish form.
If you were to die in active service as a member of the FPS, a death grant would be payable. This would normally be two times your pensionable pay as at the date of death.
Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service would pay the death grant to your legal spouse or civil partner provided you were not living apart at the time of death. If you were unmarried, not in a civil partnership, or ‘living apart’; the death grant would be paid to your personal representative.
There is no death grant payable if you are a firefighter who has already left the service, or opted out of the FPS, at the date of death.
One of the most important aspects of membership of the FPS is the benefits provided to your loved ones in the event of your death.
Spouse and Partner pensions
If, as a FPS member you were to die in service and, if you have completed at least two years pensionable service, a pension will be paid to a surviving spouse or partner.
Civil Partnership and Same Sex Marriage
If you were to die and leave a widow/widower of a same sex marriage, they would be entitled to a pension based on similar principles to those set out above for a widow/widower, but it would reflect service from 6th April 1988 only. The surviving partner of a registered civil partnership would be entitled to a pension based on similar principles to those set out above for the widow/widower of a same sex marriage.
A child is eligible to receive a pension if below the age of 18, or below age 23 and in full-time education. Eligibility ceases on marriage, civil partnership or remunerated employment if earlier. A child who is permanently disabled may be entitled to receive a pension for life.
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 is not paid in respect of an optant out, or a FPS member with deferred benefits which were not into payment at the date of death.
In the event of divorce, dissolution of civil partnership, annulment or judicial separation, a court may order a Pension Scheme to pay all or part of your entitlement to pension to your former spouse or civil partner. This could be in accordance with an ‘earmarking’ order or a ‘pension sharing’ order.
You may be asked for specific information about your FPS benefits for divorce/dissolution purposes and the Pensions Team can provide pensions information if requested.
An earmarking order could apply to all or part of your retirement pension, potential lump sum, or possibly your death grant. If you have already retired, the order may require immediate payment of pension to your former spouse or civil partner.
A pension sharing order would have immediate effect. The court would instruct that a percentage of the value of your benefits should be deducted to provide ‘pension credit rights’ for your former spouse or civil partner.
To request a CETV or to discuss your LGPS pension in the circumstance of a divorce contact the pensions team or alternatively see the divorce booklet.