Death in service
If you die in service as a special member of the FPS 2006, a death grant would be payable. This would normally be two times your pensionable pay at the date of death. If you were absent from duty without pay at that time, the death grant would be two times your pensionable pay when you last received it.
For special members, who have variable pensionable pay, the death grant is worked out as the greater of –
a) 2 x part-time rate of pensionable pay based on hours at date of death, or
b) 2 x whole-time pensionable pay x pensionable service/qualifying service.
In this case ( b) would be based on the total pensionable service credited at the date of death, and the total qualifying service.
For example, if a retained firefighter had 5 years 291 days (5.7973 years) of qualifying service (the calendar length of scheme membership) of which 1.6915 years counted as pensionable, and a whole-time regular firefighter in an equivalent role would be on an annual rate of pay of £28,000, (b) would be worked out as –
2 x 1.6915/5.7973 x £28,000 = £16,339.33
If you had an entitlement to a two pension award, this would be taken into account if it would give a higher benefit.
Death on pension
A death grant may also be payable if you die after retirement and you have been receiving pension payments for less than five years. In these circumstances, the death grant would be the difference between five times the annual amount of pension and the amount of instalments of pension paid. It is in effect a five year guarantee of pension.
The FRA has absolute discretion who to pay the death grant to, but you may nominate the person(s) that you would like to receive it. You can usually ask your FRA for a form to fill in. The authority would take your wishes into account when making their decision.
Tax rules prevent the payment of a death grant for someone who has reached the age of 75 but it is unlikely that a firefighter would still be serving at that age. There is no death grant payable for a deferred pension which has not come into payment at the date of death of the firefighter.