The FPS 2006 for Special Members is a final salary pension scheme. Your pension will normally be based on an average of your pensionable pay over the last year of service or the average over one of the two previous years, if greater. In most cases, this ensures benefits are worked out on the highest level of pay in your career.
But what if you have a reduction in pay before those last 3 years?
The "two pension" option protects the final salary benefits of a firefighter who has a reduction in pensionable pay when taking up a different role or becomes entitled to a lower rate of pay in their existing role.
Pension rights before the reduction in pay are held as a deferred pension and new pension rights start to build up for your period of service after the reduction. The first pension would be based on your pre-reduction pay and the second pension would be based on your post-reduction pay. This is sometimes also known as a "split pension".
Both pensions become payable when you are eligible to receive the second pension.
If, at retirement, you would be better off by not splitting your pension rights, you can ask your FRA to cancel the two pension award and base your pension on your total pensionable service and final average pensionable pay. In practice, your FRA's pension administrator will usually compare the benefits and pay the higher amount.
If you opt out of the scheme, you lose any entitlement to a two pension award.