Firefighters' pension scheme news

April 2019

Firefighters Pensioner Members who are paid their pension in advance (on the first of the month, for that month) may have been contacted by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) notifying them of a change in their tax code, due to being in receipt of more than one pension. This may be incorrect, if you are not in receipt of more than one pension.

This is due to an error that occurred in the reporting (Real Time Information) to HMRC to let them know that Capita would no longer be paying the pension. This data has now been resubmitted to HMRC, which they have confirmed receipt of and should now resolve the issue. You do not need to take any further action.

Note this may take a couple of days for an individual’s record to be updated by HMRC.

April 2019

West Sussex Members Only

Firefighters Pensioner Members who are paid their pension in advance (on the first of the month, for that month) may recall that there was an error that occurred in the reporting (Real Time Information) to HMRC to let them know that Capita would no longer be paying the pension. It was our understanding that following the data being resubmitted to HMRC, this should have resolved the issue.

We are now being informed, following firefighter pensioner members, who are paid in advance, and are in receipt of their May payslip, that this has not been resolved in all cases.

HRMC have notified Hampshire Pension Services of a Base Rate (BR) tax code, on the understanding that they believe those pensioner members are in receipt of a second income. For some this BR code will be correct, and for others it will not.

We are working with HMRC to resolve this issue, but it will mean that some pensioner members will have overpaid tax, which will need to be adjusted next month once the correct tax code is received from HRMC.

March 2019

From 4 March, Hampshire County Council will be taking on the administration of West Sussex Local Government and Firefighter’s pension schemes. This change of administration will not change the way Hampshire Pension Services administer the Firefighter’s pension scheme for Hampshire members.

In future we will be displaying both the Hampshire and West Sussex Firefighter’s logo on our webpages. The content of the webpages contains information for both Firefighter’s pension schemes.

Not all forms for West Sussex Firefighter’s scheme will be available on the website from 4 March. These will be added as soon as possible after this date. If you need a form that is not yet available, please contact us on 01962 845588 and we will arrange to send you the form you need.

February 2019

Member Survey - FPS Administration Benchmarking

The Firefighters’ Pensions (England) Scheme Advisory Board in partnership with Aon is undertaking a survey of the service you receive in relation to your pension. They are interested to hear your views on the frequency and quality of information you receive about your benefits. This data will be collected by Aon to feed into a report to benchmark the standard of service across the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme in England.

Please complete the survey

It will take around 5 minutes to complete and all responses are anonymous. The closing date is 28 February 2019.

December 2018

Court of Appeal transitional protections judgement

We are aware that the Court of Appeal has handed down the judgement in the Firefighters transitional appeals case, finding that the transitional protections introduced with the new Pension scheme in 2015 were unlawfully discriminatory on grounds of age.

It is important to note that the case relates only to the transitional protection arrangements in the 2015 firefighters’ pension scheme, and whether these are discriminatory. It does not address the introduction of that scheme itself by the primary legislation of the Public Service Pensions Act 2013.

What happens next?
We realise that scheme members want to understand what this means for their pension, however, we cannot yet speculate on what remedy might involve. The judgement remits it to the employment tribunal to consider remedy, but before that step Government can apply for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. So it will most likely be many months before we are able to understand what this means for pension scheme benefits.

In the immediate future, your pension benefits will remain calculated as under the current regulations.

We will endeavour to keep you informed as things progress.

December 2018

Home Office public consultation on amendments to benefits in the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme 1992 and the Firefighters’ Compensation Scheme 2006

This public consultation opens on 18 December 2018 and closes on 29 January 2019. Full information including details about how to take part are in the Home Office consultation document.

The Firefighters Pension Scheme Scheme Advisory Board: consultations

April 2017

2017 revaluation order – Average weekly earnings

The revaluation order as published by the Treasury under footnote 18 of the 2014 regulations has been confirmed by the Treasury in a statement by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury as being 2.6% for the 2015 Firefighters Pension Scheme. The Statutory Instrument has yet to be laid in Parliament.

Public Service Pension Indexation and Revaluation 2017: Written statement

December 2015

Pension Ombudsman Ruling – updated

The Pensions Ombudsman's determination of 13 May 2015 in the case of GAD v Milne has meant that for members who retired between 1 December 2001 (1 December 2004 for females) and 21 August 2006, commutation redress payments have been made.

At the present time we have no information or direction from the Department of Communities and Local Government with regard to any member that may have retired before these dates and we are unable to say if or when such information might be available. If information is received that affects members who retired before these dates, then we will contact you at that time. You do not need to register your interest with the Hampshire Pension Fund, but you may wish to do so with either the Fire Brigade Union or the National Association of Retired Fire-Fighters.

Pension Ombudsman Ruling – updated

August 2015

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service

Pay policy – staff salaries

October 2014

Consultation on proposals for new governance arrangements

To find out more and respond to the consultation, visit the GOV.UK website. The consultation closes on 21 November 2014.

May 2014

Retained firefighters' pensions settlement

If you have had retained service with an English Fire and Rescue Authority during the period 1 July 2000 and 5 April 2006 inclusive, you may be affected by the recent changes to allow you to join the new modified pension arrangement.

Your Fire and Rescue Authority should contact you if you are affected. Contact Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service on 02380 644000 if you have any queries about the changes.

October 2013

Options exercise – buying back eligible service

A change to the NFPS, expected to come into effect in December 2013, will allow eligible retained firefighters to buy back eligible service. This may affect you if you served from 2000 to 2006. See the Retained firefighters page.

April 2013

Increases to employee contributions from April 2013

FPS (1992) regulations and NFPS (2006) regulations have been amended to reflect the increased contribution rates that apply from April 2013. To see responses to the consultation about the contribution rates, visit the GOV.UK website.

December 2012

Consultation on proposed increases to employee contributions from April 2013

To find out more and respond to the consultation, visit the visit the GOV.UK website. The consultation closes on 25 January 2013.

Amendments to the New Firefighters' Pension Scheme: Automatic Enrolment

The outcome of a consultation about amendments to the New Firefighters' Pension Scheme to meet Automatic Enrolment rules has been announced. You can find out more on the GOV.UK website.