Can I increase my pension?

If you are an active member of the FPS 1992 and will not be able to count 30 years' pensionable service by normal pension age (55), you can choose to buy extra 60ths (years of service) by paying additional contributions - subject to certain conditions.

The extra 60ths would count in working out your own pension and for working out pensions for survivors - your husband, wife, civil partner, and any eligible children.

They would not, however, be taken into account for assessing entitlement to benefits. For example, you cannot count them towards the 25 years' pensionable service needed for retirement at or after age 50 and before 55, or towards service that counts for entitlement to an ill-health pension.

The amount of additional contributions will depend on your age at the birthday following your election to make the payments, and how many extra 60ths you want to buy. The Scheme Actuary provides factors which the FRA use to work out the cost. Your FRA's pension administrator can give you a quote and further details if you are interested in this option.

An election to pay additional contributions must be made at least 2 years before normal pension age and may only be made by a person who had not reached age 46 when last becoming a firefighter. Also, the FRA may ask you to undergo a medical examination (at your own expense) to make sure you are in good health.

The additional contributions would be deducted with effect from your first birthday following your election, along with your basic contributions and continue to be deducted until normal pension age.

Once you have begun paying the contributions, if you retire with an ill-health pension or die in service, benefits payable to you or your dependants respectively, would take into account the full number of 60ths you chose to buy.

Should you leave or retire in other circumstances, before reaching normal pension age, you would be credited with the portion of 60ths bought to date.


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