Upon employment, you will be asked to give details about any previous membership of a pension scheme. You will also be asked to indicate whether or not you would like the fire and rescue authority to explore the possibility of a transfer of pension rights into FPS 2015.
FPS 2015 can accept a transfer from another occupational pension scheme registered with HM Revenue and Customs, a qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme, or a personal pension scheme.
Depending on the type of pension scheme from which the transfer is requested, certain restrictions and time limits may apply. The authority will advise you of these and any other information needed from you. They may also ask for information to be provided by your previous scheme, regarding the potential transfer payment.
An application for a transfer must be made in writing. The authority will provide you with information on the amount of pension that would initially be added to your pension account. You should compare this with any pension options offered by your previous scheme and decide, within the time limit given, whether you wish the transfer to proceed.
If you previously worked for a non-English fire and rescue authority, a transfer of previous pension rights would be made under similar principles to those outlined above.
However, it may be that you’re moving from one English fire and rescue authority to employment with another. Again, upon taking up your new employment you should inform your new authority of the pension rights held by your former authority (even if there has been a break between the two employments).
Provided that any break has not been greater than five years, your former authority will provide you with a certificate showing the entries in your pension account(s) held by them. Your new authority will then transfer the details to the new pension account(s) as part of your new employment. Please note, no transfer payment will be made between the authorities.
Special provisions will be made for those who’s employment break has been greater than five years. These provisions will also be implemented if you wish to transfer an ‘added pension account’ as defined under Payments for Added Pension, or if you have accounts in respect of more than one employment. Your authority can give you more detailed information if these circumstances apply.
If you think that the transferred account details are incorrect because of an inaccuracy in the certificate, you should raise the matter with your former authority. If you are still not satisfied, you have a right of appeal under internal dispute resolution procedures.
If you leave employment you can ask for your pension rights to be offered in the form of a transfer value to another pension arrangement. A transfer value is calculated by working out the value of deferred benefits and applying actuarial factors.
In effect, this is the value of your pension rights expressed as a lump sum. Please compare the offer of benefits the CETV would purchase in the new scheme with any alternative benefits in the FPS 2015, before making your decision about transferring pension rights.