Firefighters’ 2006 Scheme
The Firefighters’ Pension Scheme 2006 is a defined benefit contribution scheme. The FPS is now a closed scheme although existing members of the scheme will continue in the scheme until retirement.
The following pages apply only to those firefighter members who retain membership of the 2006 scheme.
Benefits of the 2006 Scheme
These are some of the benefits that you will receive as a member of the FPS:
- Option for voluntary early retirement at age 55.
- Ill-health pensions
- Injury award
- Death Grant
- Survivors’ pensions for a spouse, civil partner or nominated partner and any eligible children.
- Option to take a lump sum upon retirement of up to a quarter of your pension.
If you are a retained member of the 2006 scheme, please visit the retained section of the website for information on how the scheme applies to you.
How is your 2006 pension worked out?
What is pensionable service?
Pensionable service can be defined as your period of service as a member of the NFPS during which you have paid contributions
How much Service do I need to qualify for a pension?
To be eligible for a NFPS pension you must have built up at least three months qualifying service.
What is Final Pensionable Pay?
Final pensionable pay will usually be your pay averaged over the last 365 days of service. However, if either of the two proceeding yearly periods would produce a greater amount, then the final pensionable pay from one of those earlier periods could be substituted. This protects members against any reduction of pay in the later years of service.
How is a Pension Calculated?
The NFPS is a final salary scheme which means that your pension will be a proportion of final pensionable pay. For each year of service you will receive final pensionable pay multiplied by 1/60th. Each day of pensionable service will count as 1/365th of 1/60th.
Final Pay x service = Pension
As a member of the 2006 Scheme your contribution rate is based upon your pensionable pay. Your fire and rescue authority pay an employer’s contribution and additional charges for ill-health awards plus the cost of exercising certain discretions allowed under the rules.
There are nine bands based upon different rates of pay. Upon increases or decreases in an employees pay the contribution rate will alter accordingly.
The contribution bands for 2018/19 are shown here.
|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 thank £104,060 to £124,872||12.1%|
Replacing strike contributions is similar to the process of replacing contributions lost through other types of unpaid leave. If you do decide to replace the lost pension you would be required to pay back the employee’s and the employer’s contributions. It is important to note that an election must be made within six months of the strike action to pay back the contributions.
For more information please see the guide on strike action and how it affects pension benefits in the forms and guides section.
Leaving or Opting Out of the 2006 Scheme
If you do not want to be a member of the NFPS you can opt out at any time by giving a signed, written notice to the Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service. The notice would take effect from the start of the following pay period.
If you have less than three months qualifying service at the time of the Opt Out, you would normally receive a refund of the contributions that you have paid. If you have three months or more of service you will have the option to transfer accrued rights to another pension arrangement or to take a deferred pension.
Under ‘automatic enrolment’ the authority will periodically re-enrol members who have opted out back into the pension scheme. You can opt out again if you wish.
If you wish to re-join the NFPS after opting out you may do so if you satisfy the member conditions at the current time. Your written signed election to re-join would take effect from the start of the following pay period.
If you leave the NFPS, either to enter into another employment or because you have opted out of the scheme, you would be entitled to a deferred pension. A deferred pension comes into effect when a leaver has sufficient service to qualify for a pension but is not eligible for immediate payment as they are not old enough or not retiring on grounds of ill-health.
A deferred pension would normally be put into payment at the age of 65. You could, however, request earlier payment at or after age 55.
As an alternative to a deferred pension, upon leaving the NFPS 2006, you could request that your pension rights should be transferred to another pension arrangement.
If you leave your employment with Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service and transfer to another Fire Authority, provided there is no break in service between employments, you would remain a member of the NFPS 2006.
However, if you leave to take up employment as a firefighter in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, a transfer payment would be paid because different funding arrangements apply.
There are some schemes that will let you access your pension before Normal Pension Age if you transfer it to them. These are called pension liberation scams or pension loans.
Promises of early cash are likely to be false, and you could lose your pension savings and face serious tax consequences for taking an ‘unauthorised’ payment.
You can find out more about pension liberation on The Pensions Regulator website.