The Firefighters' Pension Scheme 1992 (FPS 1992) came into effect on 1 March 1992 but has been amended many times since that date.
The FPS 1992 is a statutory, defined benefit, public service pension scheme initially made under section 26 of the Fire Services Act 1947. This Act was revoked by the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004, but section 36 of the 2004 Act allowed the Scheme to continue in force.
The FPS 1992 is a final salary scheme, meaning that pensions are based on scheme membership and pay on leaving the scheme. The scheme was open to wholetime and part-time regular firefighters.
On 6 April 2006, the FPS 1992 became a closed scheme meaning new members could not be admitted after that date.
Current active members of the FPS 1992 will be those who satisfied the membership conditions and joined before that date, who have not opted out of the scheme, and who have not had any subsequent break in continuity of employment.
One of the conditions for membership was that a person should have been appointed as a regular firefighter by a Fire and Rescue Authority (FRA) on terms under which they may be required to engage in firefighting. However, once you have joined the FPS 1992, membership can continue if you are asked to perform just the non-firefighting duties appropriate to your role. This means, for example, that if you become unfit for the "operational" aspects of the role, as long as there is no break in the continuity of the employment, you would be allowed to remain a member.
Some members will have been transferred to FPS 2015 with effect from 1 April 2015, some at a later date, and some will have the right to remain a member of FPS 1992 until 2022.
If you are a member of FPS 1992, the benefits provided by the scheme include the following:
- an inflation-proofed pension based on your length of pensionable service and average final pay
- an option to convert part of the pension to a lump sum
- early payment of benefits if you have to retire on grounds of permanent ill-health
- death-in-service cover providing a lump sum death grant equal to twice pensionable pay
- a pension for your surviving husband, wife, or civil partner
- pensions for children and dependants