Shropshire County Pension fund

Taking care of your Local Government Pension in Shropshire

Firefighters 2015 Scheme

The Firefighter’s Pension Scheme 2015 is a Career Average Revalued Earnings scheme. These pages contain a brief summary of information regarding the scheme. A full guide is available in the forms and guides library.

Benefits of the 2015 Scheme

These are some of the benefits that you will receive as a member of the 2015:

  • Pension payable from age 60
  • Ill-health pensions
  • Injury award
  • Death Grant
  • Survivors pension 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.

How is Your Pension Worked Out?

How much Service do I need to qualify for a pension?

You must have built up at least three months qualifying service.

What is a CARE Scheme

Every year you will get a pension equal to a 59.7th of your pay added to your pension account . This pension is revalued each year to ensure it keeps up with the cost of living.

At retirement, the amounts of pension built up each year are added together to calculate the total pension due.

If during the scheme year you have been on leave, on reduced contractual pay or no pay due to sickness or injury, or have been on relevant paid child related leave, or reserve forces leave, then for that period your pension is based on your assumed pensionable pay.

An example of how your pension will build up in your Pension Account each year is shown below

Date From Date to Account Balance(starting) HM Treasury Order Rate[1] Opening Balance Actual Pay Build up Rate Pension Build up in year Account Balance (Closing)
01/04/2015 31/03/2016 0.00 0.00 29,850 1/59.7 500.00 500.00
01/04/2016 31/03/2017 500.00 3% 515.00 30,447 1/59.7 510 1025.00
01/04/2017 31/03/2018 1025.00 4% 1066.00 31,000 1/59.7 519.26 1585.26

Contributions

As a member of the 2015 scheme your contribution rate is based upon your full time equivalent pensionable pay.  Your employer also pays towards your retirement benefits.

The current contribution banding rates for the year 17/18 are:

Pensionable pay range for an employment Contribution rate 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2018
Up to £27,543 10.5%
£27,544 to £51,005 12.7%
£51,006 to £142,500 13.5%
£142,501 or more 14.5%

Strike Action

You can pay back contributions lost through strike breaks. If you do decide to replace the lost pension you would be required to pay back the employee’s and the employer’s contributions.  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 

Opting Out

If you do not want to be a member of the 2015 Scheme you can opt out at any time by giving a signed, written notice to Shropshire Fire & Rescue Authority. 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 you will have the option to transfer accrued rights to another pension arrangement or to take a deferred pension. However you cannot transfer out to a scheme offering flexible benefits or defined contribution schemes.  This is because the Firefighters Pension Scheme is unfunded. Under ‘automatic enrolment’ your fire authority will periodically re-enrol members who have opted out back onto the pension scheme. You can opt out again if you wish.

If you wish to re-join the 2015 Scheme after opting out you would need to complete a new member form.  – This would then take effect from the start of the following pay period.

Deferred Pension

If you leave the 2015 Scheme, 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 of benefits.

A deferred pension would normally be brought into payment at your State Pension Age You could, however, request earlier payment at or after age 55 but reductions would be applied for early payment.

 Pensions Transfers

As an alternative to a deferred pension, upon leaving the 2015 Scheme, 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 2015 Scheme.

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.

Transfers are restricted from unfunded Public Service Pension Schemes to schemes from which members are able to access their benefits flexibly

You can find out more about pension liberation on The Pensions Regulator website.

Further Information

Guide to Fire Pension Scheme 2015

Shropshire 2015 scheme presentation