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1. RDS MODIFIED RETAINED SCHEME
Summary of scheme Benefits
The benefits on offer in the modified scheme will be comparable, albeit different, to those provided under the terms of the 1992 Scheme. The main terms of the modified scheme are as follows:
2. NFPS 2006 SCHEME DETAILS
The Scheme is open to all firefighters regardless of duty system or hours of employment. This includes all retained firefighters other than those in the Modified Scheme above.
A banded arrangement.
These can be paid, by election and subject to eligibility, to purchase additional benefits.
As a member of the New Firefighters’ Pension Scheme, or with another pension arrangement (including the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme 1992), previous pension rights may be transferred to add to current service.
Normal pension age
Age 60. However, a firefighter can choose to retire before this at age 55 or over with immediate payment of benefits but an actuarial reduction of approximately 5% for each year prior to 65.
Basic principles of assessment of pension
Calculated in accordance with final pay and pensionable service, whereby final pay is normally an average of the pay received within the last 12 months of employment:
1/60 x pensionable service x final pensionable pay
In the case of a part time employee, the service would reflect the part time hours worked (e.g. half time for two years would give one year of pensionable service) but the final pensionable pay would be based on the whole time equivalent rate.
This allows a firefighter to give up part of his/her annual pension to provide a one off payment of lump sum.
Payable from any age if the NFPS member is permanently disabled for performance of the duties of his/her role. It can be lower tier or higher tier. Lower tier would be paid where the member is capable of regular employment (other than as a firefighter); higher tier would be paid where the member is not so capable. A lower tier pension uses the basic principles of assessment; the higher tier uses the basic principles with an enhancement of service.
Applicable in the event of leaving the fire and rescue service before normal pension age. The benefits, dependent upon length of service, the nature of the termination of employment, the age of the member and/or the choice of the member are:
This is a means of protecting the pension rights of a member whose pay is reduced in a final salary pension scheme. At the point of reduction the first pension would be closed and a new pension started. When the member retires, both pensions would be paid or, if more advantageous, the service on which the two pensions are based could be added together and a single pension paid.
Additional Pension Benefit (“APB”)
This is a contributions based pension benefit. Those who were serving firefighters at the time that the Long Service Increment was withdrawn will be entitled to a Long Service Increment Additional Pension Benefit (LSI APB). Those who receive Continual Professional Development payments will receive a CPD APB. The CPD APB is based on standard pension contributions paid by the firefighter and by the fire and rescue authority on the CPD payments. The contributions are converted to a pension by the use of factors provided by the Government Actuary. An APB is also taken into account for dependants’ benefits.
In addition, from 1st July 2013, any of the following allowances can be treated as an APB, as with LSI/CPD, instead of forming part of the main scheme benefits. This is for new awards of the allowance or where there is a break in allowance on or after 1st July 2013 and is at the discretion of each individual fire service:
a) any allowance or supplement to reward additional skills and responsibilities that are applied and maintained outside the requirements of the firefighter’s duties under the contract of employment but are within the wider functions of the job;
(b) the difference between the firefighter’s basic pay in their day to day role and any pay received whilst on temporary promotion or where he is temporarily required to undertake the duties of a higher role;
(c) any performance related payment which is not consolidated into his standard pay.
If you wish to estimate how much Additional Pension Benefit you can expect to receive by paying pension contributions over a certain period of time, please use this calculator spreadsheet link. You will need to download/save and then open the spreadsheet in order to input your details. NB: This calculator cannot currently be used on mobile devices.
Provided in the form of a death grant of 3 times pensionable pay for a member who dies in service and a five year guarantee where a pension is in payment, plus dependants’ benefit cover for a surviving spouse, or civil partner, or nominated partner and for children.
This depends upon the decision of the court. If the court issues an earmarking order, all or part of the death grant, pension, or lump sum by commutation may be paid to the former spouse or civil partner at the time those benefits would normally be paid to, or in respect of, the NFPS member. If, instead, the court issues a pension sharing order, part of the firefighter’s accrued value of pension rights will be deducted from the effective date of the order to provide benefits for the former spouse or civil partner who becomes a pension credit member in the NFPS.
Pension credit member’s benefits
Provided for the former spouse or civil partner of a NFPS member in the event of a court issuing a pension sharing order on divorce. The benefits are payable from age 65 and comprise a pension and, provided the firefighter had not already commuted part of his/her pension, the option of a lump sum.
An increase is applied to members’ and dependants’ pensions on an annual basis to keep in line with the Consumer Price Index.
Rights of appeal (Gloucestershire)
If a member is dissatisfied with the decisions of the fire and rescue service, or the medical opinion on which certain decisions are based, an appeal can be made.