About the New Firefighters' Pension Scheme 2006
The NFPS 2006 is an unfunded occupational pension scheme.
It is a national scheme with individual fire and rescue authorities responsible for its administration. The NFPS 2006 will become a closed scheme from 1 April 2015, meaning that new recruits will not be able to join.
- Who can join?
The NFPS 2006 is open to people taking up employment with a fire and rescue authority as a firefighter, on terms which mean that he or she may be required to engage in firefighting, and whose role includes:
- resolving operational incidents
- supporting others to resolve incidents
It does not matter what duty system you are contracted to work – you may be a whole time, part time or retained duty system firefighter.
If you are not a firefighter, you will join the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) instead.
- You will have become a member of the NFPS 2006 if you joined the fire service between 1 April 2006 and 31 March 2015, or if you opted in during this time
- If you were born before 1 April 1962 and were contributing to the scheme on 1 April 2012, you will remain a member of the NFPS 2006, and will not move to the 2015 Firefighters' Pension Scheme when it is introduced
- If you were born after 31 March 1962, you will move to the 2015 Firefighters' Pension Scheme when it is introduced but your NFPS 2006 pension will still be linked to your final pay when you leave service or opt out
Once you have become a member of the NFPS 2006, you are required to perform duties appropriate to your role, but they may not be the same as those listed above – for example if you become unfit for operational work. You will continue to be an active member of in the pension scheme as long as your employment is continuous.
If you have previously opted out of the NFPS but would now like to join the scheme, complete the Election to join or re-join the NFPS form and send it to Workforce Support.
- Pension benefits
For each year of service you build up, you will receive yearly pension worth 1/60 of your final pay.
- Final pay is the whole-time equivalent, even for part-time and retained firefighters
- Any part-time service is scaled down – for example, if you worked 50% of whole-time for a year, you would build up 6 months of pensionable service
- If you are a retained firefighter, we work out your service each year by comparing your actual pay to the whole-time pay for a comparable role
You can choose to exchange some yearly pension for a retirement lump sum.
- You can exchange up to 1/4 of your pension for a tax-free lump sum
- Each £1 pension that you exchange will give you £12 lump sum - for example if you exchange £1000, you will receive a lump sum of £12,000
- If you die, your husband, wife or civil partner may receive a pension. If you are not married to your partner, he or she may receive a pension if you nominate them, and meet certain conditions.
- Your children may also receive a pension if they are eligible.
- A death grant will be paid if you die in service.
The amount that your dependants will receive depends on your circumstances. See Death and benefits.
- Retained firefighters
Includes firefighters who are not paid an annual salary, such as:
- Retained duty system firefighters
- Day-crewing firefighters who undertake retained duties
- Volunteer firefighters
As far as possible, you pay contributions from the same types of pay as a regular firefighter; there are a few differences but the main elements are the same. For more information, see Active members.
Your pension will be based on your final pay. If you are a retained firefighter, your final pay will be the same as would have been used for a whole-time firefighter in a similar role.
If you have a reduction in your role which affects your pensionable pay, your final pay can be based on the best of your final three years or you may opt for the split pension option, just as a regular firefighter can.
Pensionable service for all firefighters is worked out in years and days, with each day worth 1/365 of a year. As a retained firefighter, your pensionable service is worked out by comparing your pensionable pay to what a whole-time firefighter would have earned in the same period. This is done for each year, from 1 April to 31 March.
A retained firefighter earned £12,352 in a year, when a whole-time firefighter would have earned £35,000. The pensionable service would be worked out like this:
- £12,352 / £35,000 = 0.3529
- The retained firefighter built up 0.3529 of a year's pensionable service (nearly 129 days)
If you are a regular firefighter and a retained firefighter, you are not allowed to accrue more than 45 years' pensionable service, whether with the same or different authorities. If your combined pensionable service should exceed 45 years, the excess contributions will be refunded to you.
- Right to appeal
If you or one of your dependants is dissatisfied with a decision made about your pension, or the failure to make a decision, you and your dependants have the right to appeal.
In the NFPS, disputes are managed using the Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure (IDRP). This is based on the requirements of the Pensions Act 1995. There are also provisions to appeal a medical decision that a determination or award of pension has been based on.
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