Retiring

Firefighters' Pension Scheme 1992

Summary

Your pension can be paid to you

  • from age 55, the scheme's normal pension age
  • from age 50 or over with at least 25 years' pensionable service
  • from any age if paid due to ill health or disablement
  • from age 60 if you have a deferred pension – we will write to you when it is due to be paid

If you are thinking of retiring, you may ask the Pensions Administration Team for an estimate.

When you tell Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority that you are retiring they will give you a retirement declaration form. Please complete and send it to Pensions Services.

When we have your completed form and leaver information from Hampshire Fire and Rescue, we will write to tell you how much your pension will be. It will take us up to six weeks to begin paying your pension.

Split pension option

If your pay dropped after 31 March 2007 in your current role or due to moving to a new role, Hampshire Fire and Rescue may instruct us to apply the split pension option. See Active members.

Low value pensions

If your pension is very small it may be paid all at once as a lump sum; this is known as commutation of a trivial pension. The pension must be less than the limit set by HMRC and you would have to satisfy other tax rules as well. When you retire, Pensions Services will be in touch if this applies to you.

Retirement age

Your pension will be paid if you retire at age 50 or over with at least 25 years' service, or age 55 or over with at least 2 years' service.

Example

If you retire at 55 with 22 years' pensionable service and final pay of £28,000, your pension will be:

(20 × 1/60) + (2 × 2/60) × £28,000 = £11,200 a year

Efficiency

Hampshire Fire and Rescue may require you to retire if they consider that your continued service is not in the general interest of efficiency.

You must be eligible for immediate payment of an age retirement pension, being age 50 or over and having at least 25 years' pensionable service.

Ill health

Hampshire Fire and Rescue may consider you for an ill health pension if you become permanently disabled and cannot perform the duties required in your role, regardless of your age.

There are lower and higher tier ill health pensions. If you have any part-time service, your pension would be worked out as if you were whole-time throughout, and then adjusted to reflect your part time service.

Lower tier pension

Lower tier pension would be paid if you became permanently disabled for the performance of the duties of your role. The pension would be worked out differently depending on how much service you have.

Example
If you have less than 5 years' pensionable service, the lower tier pension is: 1/60 x pensionable service x final pensionable pay
If your final pay was £30,000 and you had 3 years' service your lower tier pension would be: 1/60 x 3 x £30,000 = £1,500 a year
If you have 5 or more years' service, the lower tier pension is calculated differently. If you have 12 years service but could have completed 30 years' service by age 55, and your final pensionable pay is £30,000, the lower tier pension would be: 12/30 x 40/60 x £30,000 = £8,000 a year

Higher tier pension

You would receive a lower tier and higher tier pension if you became permanently disabled for the duties of your role and also for any other regular employment. In this case regular employment means employment averaging 30 hours a week over 12 months.

Your pension may be enhanced but it cannot be more than the pension that could have been paid at your normal pension age of 55, or age 60 if you are a Station Manager B and above.

Years' pensionable service Enhancement (not more than would have been paid at normal retirement age)
5 to less than 10 Each year will count as 2/60 of final pay
10 to less than 13 Your pension would be 20/60 x final pay
13 or more Pensionable service + 7/60 x final pay
Each year of service up to 20 years will be 1/60, each year after will be 2/60

How a higher tier pension is worked out

  • Pension is worked out including enhanced service
  • The lower tier pension is deducted from it to give the higher tier pension
  • The lower and higher tier pensions are paid

Example

This example is for a firefighter with 12 years' service and final pay of £30,000.

  • Lower tier pension is £8,000
  • Enhanced pension is 20/60ths of final pay: 20/60 x £30,000 = £10,000
  • And then the lower tier pension is deducted: £10,000.00 - £8,000.00 = £2,000
  • The firefighter would be paid £8,000 lower tier pension and £2,000 higher tier pension each year
Deferred pensions

Your pension will have become deferred if you left service or opted out before it was due to be paid. Your most recent deferred pension statement shows the current value of your pension.

Your pension will normally be payable from age 60 but it may be paid at any age due to permanent ill health.

How your pension was calculated

Your pension was calculated by working out what you would have received had you worked to normal pension age, and then adjusting that amount to reflect the service you actually built up.

Example – If you would have completed 30 years and your final pay was £27,000:
Your pension will be worked out as though you had worked to normal pension age: (20 x 1/60) + (10 x 2/60) x £27,000 = £18,000.00 a year
Then it will be adjusted to reflect the service you actually built up. So if you had 5 years' service your pension would be: 5/30 x £18,000 = £3,000.00 a year

Part time service

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

To find out more about deferred pensions, see Leaving or opting out.

Commutation

When you retire, you may choose to commute (exchange) some of your pension to provide a retirement lump sum. The amount of the lump sum is determined by factors provided by the Government Actuary which take into account your age at retirement.

There is a limit to the amount of pension you can commute.

Retirement Maximum pension you can commute
  • Normal retirement age 55
  • Retirement with 30 years' service
  • Deferred pension
Up to one quarter of pension
Ill health pension Up to one quarter of pension. Only lower tier ill health pension can be commuted in the case of higher tier ill health retirement
  • Over age 50 and below 55
  • with 25 to 30 years' service
The lump sum must not be more than 2.25 times greater than the pension before commutation

Tax on retirement lump sums

The factor used to calculate a retirement lump sum could mean that it will exceed the maximum allowed by HMRC, currently 25% of the total value of benefits. Any lump sum in excess of that limit will be subject to a 40% tax charge.

If this applies to you, you may wish to seek independent financial advice before you make a decision about commutation. Pensions Services will notify you of any tax that you may have to pay on your retirement lump sum.