On 6 April 2006, the Firefighters' Pension Scheme 2006 (FPS 2006) came into effect. When it was introduced it was known as the New Firefighters’ Pension Scheme (NFPS). The previous scheme – the Firefighters' Pension Scheme 1992 (FPS 1992) – continued in force for firefighters who were serving before that date and who wished to remain members of that scheme. However, at that time, the FPS 1992 became a closed scheme and new members could not join.
The FPS 2006 is a statutory, defined benefit, public service pension scheme made under section 34 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004.
The FPS 2006 is a final salary scheme, meaning that pensions are based on scheme membership and pay on leaving the scheme. The scheme was open to both regular and retained firefighters.
Membership of the FPS 2006 is open to any person taking up employment with a Fire and Rescue Authority (FRA) as a firefighter on terms under which they are, or may be, required to engage in firefighting, and whose role includes resolving operational incidents, or leading and supporting others in the resolution of such incidents. It does not matter what duty system they are contracted to work – they can be whole-time or part-time regular firefighters, volunteers, or retained duty system firefighters.
If you are eligible to join the FPS 2006, you would be admitted automatically upon taking up your employment.
Having joined the FPS 2006, if you are asked to perform duties appropriate to your role but not specifically those outlined above (for example, if you become unfit for "operational" work), you would be allowed to remain a member as long as there is no break in the continuity of your employment .
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 2006 until 2022.
If you are a member of FPS 2006, the benefits provided by the scheme include the following:
- an inflation-proofed pension based on your final pay and length of pensionable service
- an option to convert part of the pension to a lump sum
- payment of pension before normal retirement age if:
- you have to retire on grounds of permanent ill-health,
- you are required to take authority-initiated early retirement, or
- you choose to take member-initiated early retirement
- death-in-service cover providing a lump sum death grant equal to three times pensionable pay
- a pension for your surviving husband, wife, civil partner, or co-habiting partner
- pensions for children