Transfers into the FPS 1992
The FPS 1992 is now a closed scheme. This means that you can no longer transfer pension rights in from other pension schemes.
Transfers of pension within the FPS 1992
If you leave your employment with an FRA and begin employment as a firefighter with another FRA you will remain a member of the FPS 1992 as long as there is no break in service. Although your pension rights normally transfer with you, transfer payments are not made between English FRAs. The authority you leave would simply send a statement of the benefits you have built up to your new authority.
If you leave to take up employment as a firefighter in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, a transfer payment would be paid because different funding arrangements apply. As long as there is no break in service between employments you would then be subject to the FPS rules of the relevant FRA in the country you have moved to.
Transfers out of the FPS 1992
If you leave the FPS 1992 with enough service to qualify for a pension but are too young to receive immediate benefits (except ill-health related) you will receive a deferred pension instead. You can then choose to transfer this unpaid benefit to another pension scheme.
If you choose to transfer out, your FRA or their pension administrator will work out a transfer value for you. A transfer value is the total cash equivalent value of your benefits held in the scheme and it is worked out based on the scheme’s rules. A transfer will only happen if you sign a set of declaration forms given to you by your FRA.
Your FRA will also have to make sure that the new scheme meets certain conditions as a transfer can only be paid to:
- A UK pension scheme that is approved by HMRC; or
- A Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS)
Transfers to certain schemes which allow members to access their benefits flexibly are now no longer allowed from the Firefighters' Pension Schemes. A transfer must usually be requested a year before you reach normal pension age.
Transferring your pension rights is not always an easy decision to make and you may wish to seek the help of an independent financial adviser before you make a decision to transfer your deferred benefits to an alternative arrangement.