Leaving or opting out

New Firefighters' Pension Scheme 2006

Summary

Your pension will become deferred (frozen) if you leave service or opt out of the NFPS.

Your deferred pension can be paid:

  • when you reach age 65
  • from age 55 if Hampshire Fire and Rescue agrees – your pension would be reduced for early payment
  • from any age on ill health grounds

Your pension will be index linked. We will send you a pension statement each year so please write to us if you move home.

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.

If you die

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

If you have a partner, but are not married or in a civil partnership, you should nominate your partner if you would like him or her to receive a pension after your death – it will not happen automatically.

There is not a death grant lump sum payable if you die while your pension is deferred, but you may wish to keep your nomination up to date as a lump sum may be paid if you die once your pension is in payment.

To find out more, see Death and benefits.

Change of details

Moving home

We will send you a pension statement each year. 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 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 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.

Cohabiting partners

If you have a partner but you are not married or in a civil partnership, you may nominate him or her to receive a pension if you die. See Death and benefits.

Divorce or dissolution of civil partnership

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

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

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 65, once you have left service
  • You may be able to transfer the benefits to another pension scheme
  • You can rejoin the pension scheme by completing the Option to join or rejoin the NFPS form

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 your pension

If you leave service before your pension is due to be paid, you may ask for your pension benefits to be transferred to another pension scheme.

Pensions Services would work out the transfer value of your NFPS pension, representing its capital value using Government Actuary guidance, and offer it to the trustees or manager of your new pension scheme. The transfer will only go ahead if you instruct that it should.

Moving to another fire authority

If you transfer to another fire and rescue authority and stay in the NFPS, your pension will transfer with you. If your new pay is lower, you could take the split pension option, meaning that the two periods of membership would be calculated together and separately, and you would receive whichever gave the highest pension benefits.

Re-engaging as a firefighter

If you re-engage as a firefighter you will be enrolled into the NFPS (after 1 April 2015 you will be enrolled into the 2015 scheme instead). You could choose to combine your deferred pension with your new pensionable service.

If you re-join Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority and would like to combine your pension benefits, contact Pensions Services. If you join another authority, contact them instead.

Pension fraud

If another organisation approaches you about your pension, or you want to find out about transferring your pension to another provider, 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