Benefits may be reduced by an earmarking or a pension sharing order issued on divorce, dissolution of a civil partnership, annulment or judicial separation. In certain circumstances, a benefit payable under FPS 2015 can be reduced or withdrawn under forfeiture and set-off rules.
A fire and rescue authority may permanently or temporarily withdraw the whole or part of a pension if the person entitled to receive payment has been convicted of:
- an offence of treason
- an offence under the Official Secrets Acts 1911 to 1989
- an offence committed in connection with their Scheme employment and has been certified by the Secretary of State either to have been gravely injurious to the interests of the State or likely to lead to serious loss of confidence in the public service
A pension would not be paid to a dependant convicted of:
- the murder of the firefighter whose pension rights directly impact that dependant’s pension
Please note, in the case of manslaughter, the fire and rescue authority have discretion to withhold all or part of the pension.
Forfeiture of benefits and/or set-off may apply if a scheme member has a relevant monetary obligation to the employer or has caused a relevant monetary loss to FPS 2015 in circumstances arising out of the member’s criminal, negligent or fraudulent act or omission – in some cases in connection with their scheme employment.
If there is a dispute between a member and the authority about the obligation or loss, the benefits cannot be withheld unless there is a court order or a similar determination following arbitration.
An authority has the power to require supporting evidence of entitlement to a benefit from a person who may have entitlement to the scheme. Failure to present this evidence may mean that benefits are withheld.