Can I increase my pension?

In order to increase your FPS 2015 pension on retirement and any survivor benefits that may become payable, you can pay Added Pension Contributions to buy added pension.

How much Added Pension you can buy

You can pay added contributions to buy up to £7,076 of added pension (2021/22 limits) in the FPS 2015. This is payable every year for life, on top of your normal FPS 2015 benefits. The limit will be increased each April in line with the Pensions (Increase) Act 1971.

You may choose to pay monthly by periodical contributions.

If you have been employed as a firefighter within the last 12 months you could make a one-off payment into the scheme by lump sum.

Paying by periodical contributions

An election to pay added pension contributions by periodical payments may only be made at least two years before your normal pension age (60).

If you choose to pay by periodical payments, they will be deducted from your pensionable pay on the first pay period after the date on which the FRA receives the notice of your election, in addition to your normal pension contributions to the scheme.

They will stop at the end of the scheme year (i.e. 31 March), or on the date specified in your election, whichever is earlier. Your periodical payments must stop if you are no longer an active member of the scheme, or if it appears to the FRA that you will exceed the overall limit of added pension.

An amount of added pension will be credited to your "added pension account" for that scheme year. The amount credited is an amount worked out in accordance with guidance issued by the Scheme Actuary and is "indexed" each year to keep pace with inflation. If you wanted to continue your periodical payments into a further scheme year, the amounts would need to be re-calculated taking into account the factors that would apply for that scheme year.

If the periodical payments are deducted from your pay and your pensionable pay is reduced or stops and/or you are treated as receiving assumed pensionable pay, you would have the option to stop the payments or to continue making the payments as if receiving pensionable pay at the full rate. If the reason for the reduction is child-related leave you would have the additional option of changing the amount of periodical payment according to the actual pay you receive for that period. At the end of a period of reduced pay you can ask the FRA to collect any underpayment of contributions.

If you wish to stop making periodical payments, you need to give written notice of your decision. The added pension contributions would stop from the next appropriate pay period after the date on which the authority receives the notice of your election.

Paying by lump sum

If you are eligible to make payment by lump sum you must state the amount you wish to pay. This must not be less than any minimum amount determined by the FRA. You should ask your FRA for their policy on this.

Once you have chosen to buy the Added Pension by lump sum, you must pay the amount due within 3 months. If you do not pay it within the 3 months, your election is void and you will need to ask for a new quotation.

Following receipt of lump sum payment, an amount of added pension will be credited to your added pension account for the relevant scheme year. The amount credited is calculated in accordance with guidance issued by the Scheme Actuary. Added pension is "indexed" each year to keep pace with inflation.

Examples

A 35 year old firefighter earning £30,533 per annum:

Option Payment method Amount to be paid Pension bought per annum
Buy £1,000 of annual pension Lump sum £12,767.00 £1,000.00
Buy £1,000 of annual pension Monthly £1,041.04 £1,000.00
Pay £1,000 lump sum Lump sum £1,000.00 £78.33
5% per month Monthly £127.22 £122.00
Pay 100 per month Monthly £100.00 £96.00

A 45-year-old Firefighter earning £30,533 per annum:

Option Payment method Amount to be paid Pension bought per annum
Buy £1,000 of annual pension Lump sum £15,462.00 £1,000.00
Buy £1,000 of annual pension Monthly £1,275.44 £1,000.00
Pay £1,000 lump sum Lump sum £1,000.00 £63.93
5% per month Monthly £127.22 £99.75
Pay 100 per month Monthly £100.00 £78.40

A 55-year-old Firefighter earning £30,533 per annum:

Option Payment method Amount to be paid Pension bought per annum
Buy £1,000 of annual pension Lump sum £18,986.40 £1,000.00
Buy £1,000 of annual pension Monthly £1,548.14 £1,000.00
Pay £1,000 lump sum Lump sum £1,000.00 £52.67
5% per month Monthly £127.22 £82.18
Pay 100 per month Monthly £100.00 £64.59

Further information and how to apply

If you are interested in buying Added Pension and would like a quotation, please contact your FPS administrator.

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