Firefighters’ 2006 Scheme
The Firefighters’ Pension Scheme 2006 is a defined benefit scheme. The 2006 Scheme is now a closed scheme, although protected members of the scheme will continue in the scheme until retirement.
The following information is for members of the 2006 Scheme.
How is my 2006 pension worked out?
The 2006 Scheme is a final salary scheme which means that your pension will be a proportion of final pensionable pay. For each year of service, you'll receive your final pensionable pay multiplied by 1/60th. Each day of pensionable service will count as 1/365th of 1/60th.
Your contribution rate is based on your pensionable pay. The contribution bands for 2019/2020 are:
|Whole-time equivalent pensionable pay||Contribution rate|
|Up to and including £15,609||8.5%|
|More than £15,609 to £21,852||9.4%|
|More than £21,852 to £31,218||10.4%|
|More than 31,218 to £41,624||10.9%|
|More than £41,624 to £52,030||11.2%|
|More than £52,030 to £62,436||11.3%|
|More than £62,436 to £104,060||11.7%|
|More than £104,060 to £124,872||12.1%|
Leaving the 2006 Scheme before retirement
If you don’t want to be a member of the 2006 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'll stop taking pension contributions and tell us that you've opted out.
Under ‘automatic enrolment’, the authority must put members who've 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'd get deferred pension benefits.
A deferred pension would normally be paid at age 65. However, you can ask for earlier payment from age 55, but your pension would be reduced as it would be in payment for longer.
If you leave the 2006 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, and if there's no break in service between employments, you could remain a member of the 2006 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 fixed retirement age for your pension to be paid is 60. At the age of 60 you'll be paid your full pension if you've sufficient service. However, it's possible to retire early at or after the age of 55. It's important to remember that if you opt to take early retirement then your pension paid would be reduced to reflect the fact that it would be being paid early.
A firefighter with sufficient service can qualify for an ill-health pension, if they're considered to be permanently disabled to perform the duties of their role.
There're two tiers of an ill-health award. A lower tier would be based on your pensionable service and final pay and could not be enhanced. You can exchange some of this payment for a lump sum.
A higher tier can be awarded if you’ve been a member of the 2006 scheme for at least five years, but you must be unable to take on any other regular employment. This pension would be based on your pensionable service and final pay, and would also be enhanced. But, this can’t be more than 40/60 of your final pay. You wouldn’t be able to exchange any of this pension for a lump sum.
What if I die in service?
If you were to die in active service a death grant would be due. This would normally be three times your pensionable pay.
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. However, your wishes will be considered when a decision is made.
A death grant may also be due if you die within five years of retirement.
- 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're 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 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 forms 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.
- 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.
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 2006 Scheme, who’ll be moved into the 2015 Scheme when your protection expires. The age taper applies if you were a 2006 Scheme member who on 1 April 2012 was aged between 46 and 50 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've built up before this date 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 been confirmed individually.
|Date of birth||Date of birth||End of protection|