Leaving or opting out

Firefighters' Pension Scheme 1992

Summary

Your pension will become deferred (frozen) when you leave service or opt out of the FPS. Its value is index linked.

  • Your pension will normally be payable at age 60
  • It may be paid from any age on ill health grounds
  • You may transfer your pension to another pension scheme
  • We will send you a statement each year. Contact us if you change address

Paying your pension

Please contact us three months before your deferred pension is due to be paid. You will need to complete a Retirement declaration form. See Retirement to find out more.

How your pension is worked out

Your pension is calculated as though you had worked to normal pension age and then adjusted to reflect the service you actually built up.

If you could have completed 30 years by your normal pension age and your final pay was £27,000:

  • Pension is worked out as if you had worked to normal pension age:
    (20 × 1/60) + (10 × 2/60) × £27,000 = £18,000
  • Then it is adjusted to reflect your actual service, so if you had 5 years' service your pension would be:
    5/30 × £18,000 = £3,000 a year

If you have any part time service, your pension will be worked out as if you were whole time throughout and then adjusted to reflect your part time service.

If you die

Your husband, wife, civil partner and any eligible children may receive a pension if you die. See Death and benefits.

Change of details

Moving home

We will send you a pension statement each year so please contact us if you move home.

  • Please send an email that includes your National Insurance number, name, previous address and new address
  • Or send us a signed letter that includes your name, signature, National Insurance number and new address

Marriage or civil partnership

If you marry or enter into a civil partnership after leaving service, please send us a letter with your name, National Insurance number and signature.

  • Please confirm the title and surname that we should use for you
  • Please send a photocopy of your marriage or civil partnership certificate

Your husband, wife or civil partner may receive a pension if you die but this depends on the situation. See Death and benefits.

Divorce or dissolution of civil partnership

  • Divorce – please send a photocopy of your decree absolute
  • Dissolution of civil partnership – please send a photocopy of your final order

If you divorce or your civil partnership is dissolved, your ex-partner will not be entitled to a pension when you die.

Please write to us if you need a cash equivalent transfer value (CETV). Please state in your letter that you need a CETV for divorce purposes.

Opting out

You can opt out of the pension scheme at any time by contacting the Pensions Administration Team or by completing an Opt out form. Your pension benefits would become deferred and their value would be index linked.

  • Your deferred pension will normally be payable at age 60, provided you have left service
  • You may be able to transfer the benefits to another pension scheme
  • You cannot rejoin the Firefighters' Pension Scheme, but may be able to join the New Firefighters' Pension Scheme. You may have to undergo a medical at your own expense

Ill health

Your pension may be paid from any age on ill health grounds but it will not be increased, as it may have been if you had not opted out.

Death benefits

Any death benefits would relate to your deferred pension, so there would not be a death in service payment. Dependants' pensions would be based on your pay and service at the point you opted out of the scheme, and would not be enhanced.

Firefighters' compensation scheme

If you remain in service, you will continue to be covered by the Firefighters' compensation scheme which is not part of the pension scheme.

Transferring out of the FPS

You may be able to transfer your FPS benefits to another pension scheme. Please approach your new pension provider to investigate this.

Cash equivalent transfer values (CETVs)

If you are investigating a transfer of your FPS benefits and have been asked by an independent financial advisor for a CETV, please write to us. You will need to tell us that you would like a CETV to investigate transferring your FPS benefits, and include your National Insurance number and signature. You can only request one free CETV in a 12 month period.

Pension scams

Please be wary of schemes that will let you access your pension before age 55 if you transfer it to them. These are called pension liberation scams or pension loans.

Pensions can only be paid out before age 55 in rare cases, such as serious ill health. Promises of early cash are likely to be false, and there could be high administration costs and serious tax consequences.

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

If you re-engage as a firefighter

If you re-engage as a firefighter after 31 March 2015 you will join the reformed fire scheme. If you re-engage before then you will be enrolled into the New Firefighters' Pension Scheme 2006.

You may be able to transfer your benefits from the Firefighters' Pension Scheme to your new pensionable service. If you would like to combine your benefits, contact Pensions Services if you have rejoined Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority, otherwise contact your new employer.

Fire pensions reform – April 2015

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) recently published a consultation on Firefighters' pension schemes. Transitional arrangements following scheme changes are due to take place on 1 April 2015.

Firefighters pension schemes transitional arrangements - consultation notes and full outcome

Pension fraud

If another organisation approaches you about your pension, or you want to find out about transferring your pension to another provider, please read the information below.

Pension liberation

Pension liberation also known as 'pension loans' and 'pension scams', is a transfer of a scheme member's pension savings to an arrangement that will allow them to access their funds before the age of 55. If you're over 55, you can release funds from your pension from April 2015. You may still be at risk from scammers. Make sure you use the government's Pension Wise service to understand your options.

Promises of early cash may still be bogus and may result in serious tax consequences.

If you have been contacted about this then please read guidance document produced by The Pensions Regulator.

Pension liberation information booklet

Telephone scams

We understand that some people have received recorded phone messages from an organisation calling itself 'The Pensions Helpline' or 'Your Pension Provider'.

From what we have been told, the messages suggest that 'people born after 1952 are due a bonus' or that 'you may be at risk of losing part of your pension'. and prompt the recipient to press a number between 1 and 9 to continue the call.The evidence available suggests that this is a UK-wide scam.

We never request bank details from our members or pensioners over the phone. We always request such information in writing when it is appropriate to do so.We have not been informed that any of our members have been contacted this way, but we want you to be aware of it.

Now that you are aware and know what to watch out for, you can:

  • Put the phone down on unsolicited telephone calls
  • Never give personal or financial information to anyone who cold calls you on the telephone
  • Report any scams to Action Fraud online
  • Reduce unsolicited calls by registering with the Telephone Preference Service