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Contributions, pensions and certain other benefits are based on “pensionable pay” and “assumed pensionable pay”. 

The following items are treated as pensionable pay:

  • pay received for the performance of the duties of your role, except for any allowances or emoluments paid on a temporary basis;
  • your permanent emoluments (including, in the case of a retained firefighter, any retaining allowance)
  • the amount foregone if you have agreed to surrender the right to receive part of your pensionable pay in exchange for the employer providing a non-cash benefit (this is sometimes referred to as “salary sacrifice”);
  • the amount paid for continued professional development if the authority has determined that this should be pensionable.

However, any payments made by an employer to a member who is on reserve forces service leave would not count as pensionable.

Although, as explained on page 9, the contribution rate (percentage) is determined by reference to whole-time equivalent pay for a part-time regular, retained or volunteer firefighter, the contributions paid will be based on the firefighter’s actual (part-time) pay. 

Sometimes a firefighter’s pay may be reduced or cease for a period.  This could have an effect on the assessment of benefits.  FPS 2015 explains what can count as “assumed pensionable pay” in certain circumstances so that benefits will not be affected.  These circumstances include sick leave, injury leave, child-related leave and unpaid leave. In some circumstances, e.g. sick leave with reduced pay, assumed pensionable pay will be applied automatically, in other circumstance, e.g. sick leave with no pay, the application of assumed pensionable pay would depend upon a member electing to pay, and paying, contributions for the relevant period. 

Your pensions administrator would inform you of your rights and options in such circumstances.

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