How much do I pay?

As a member of FPS 2015 you pay a pension contribution which is a percentage of your pensionable pay or assumed pensionable pay as shown in the table below.

Contributions are deducted from your pay each month.

Contribution Table 2021/22
Pensionable pay range for an employment Contribution rate from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022
Up to £27,818 11.0%
£27,819 to £51,515 12.9%
£51,516 to £142,500 13.5%
£142,501 or more 14.5%

For part-time regular firefighters and retained and volunteer firefighters, the pensionable pay shown in column 1 would be that of a whole-time regular firefighter of equivalent role and length of service. It does not take into account certain reductions in pay, for example, during sick leave, or leave of absence.

Although the contribution rate (the percentage) is determined by reference to whole-time equivalent pay, contributions are paid on the actual (part-time) pay received.

Your contribution rate will be determined at the start of your membership and then at the start of each subsequent scheme year (1 April).

If you have a change in scheme employment or any material change during the financial year which affects your pensionable pay so that it falls into a different contribution band, the FRA will advise you of a change in contribution rate and the date from which the change will be applied.

The FRA pays an employer’s contribution each month plus extra charges for ill-health awards and the cost of exercising certain discretions allowed under the scheme rules.

Employer contributions are calculated by the Scheme Actuary every four years. The current employer contribution rate for FPS 2015 is 28.8%.

Contribution rates for the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 are as follows:

Contribution Table 2020/21
Pensionable pay range for an employment Contribution rate from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021
Up to £27,818 11.0%
£27,819 to £51,515 12.9%
£51,516 to £142,500 13.5%
£142,501 or more 14.5%

Contribution rates for the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 are as follows:

Contribution Table 2019/20
Pensionable pay range for an employment Contribution rate from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020
Up to £27,818 11.0%
£27,819 to £51,515 12.9%
£51,516 to £142,500 13.5%
£142,501 or more 14.5%

Contribution rates for the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 are as follows:

Contribution Table 2018/19
Pensionable pay range for an employment Contribution rate from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019
Up to £27,818 11.0%
£27,819 to £51,515 12.9%
£51,516 to £142,500 13.5%
£142,501 or more 14.5%

Contribution rates for the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 are as follows:

Contribution Table 2017/18
Pensionable pay range for an employment Contribution rate 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018
Up to £27,543 10.5%
£27,544 to £51,005 12.7%
£51,006 to £142,500 13.5%
£142,501 or more 14.5%

Illness or injury absence

If you are away from work because of illness or injury, and receiving pensionable pay and/or statutory pay, you continue to pay contributions at your usual percentage rate on the actual pay that you receive.

If you are not entitled to receive pensionable/statutory pay during the absence, you can choose to pay contributions at your usual percentage rate based on the pay you were receiving immediately before it stopped. Payment can be made by lump sum or in instalments from your salary, as agreed with your employer and within certain time limits. The FRA may also ask you to pay the employer contributions that would have been due.

Child-related leave

During child-related leave you pay contributions on whatever rate of pensionable pay you receive (including statutory pay).

If you are not entitled to receive any pensionable/statutory pay during a period of ordinary maternity, paternity or ordinary adoption leave, you would be treated as if you had paid contributions.

If you are not entitled to receive any pensionable/statutory pay during a period of additional maternity or adoption leave, parental leave or shared parental leave, you will have the option to pay contributions on "assumed pensionable pay", i.e. the pensionable pay you would have received but for the leave. Payment can be made, within certain time limits, by lump sum or in instalments from your salary, as agreed with your employer. The FRA would pay employer contributions on the assumed pensionable pay.

Authorised unpaid absence

If you have a period of authorised unpaid absence, you can choose to pay contributions at your usual contribution rate on "assumed pensionable pay", i.e. the pensionable pay you would have received but for the unpaid absence. Payment can be made, within certain time limits, by lump sum or in instalments from your salary, as agreed with your employer. The FRA may also ask you to pay the employer contributions that would have been due.

Trade dispute absence

If you are absent because of a trade dispute, you can choose to pay contributions on "assumed pensionable pay", i.e. the pensionable pay you would have received but for the absence. Payment can be made, within certain time limits, by lump sum or in instalments from your salary, as agreed with your employer. The FRA may also ask you to pay the employer contributions that would have been due.

Reserve Forces Service Leave

While on reserve forces service leave you would be expected to pay contributions on your "assumed pensionable pay", i.e. the pay you would have received but for the leave, unless you qualify for benefits under another occupational pension scheme during that period.

The contributions may be deducted from any payment made for of the same period under Part 5 of the Reserve and Auxiliary Forces (Protection of Civil Interests) Act 1951.

Contributions, pensions and certain other benefits are based on "pensionable pay" and "assumed pensionable pay".

The following items are treated as pensionable pay:

  • pay received for the performance of the duties of your role, except for any allowances or emoluments paid on a temporary basis;
  • your permanent emoluments (including, in the case of a retained firefighter, any retaining allowance)
  • the amount foregone if you have agreed to surrender the right to receive part of your pensionable pay in exchange for the employer providing a non-cash benefit (this is sometimes referred to as "salary sacrifice");
  • the amount paid for continued professional development (CPD) if the authority has determined that this should be pensionable.

However, any payments made by an employer to a member who is on reserve forces service leave would not count as pensionable.

Sometimes a firefighter's pay may be reduced or stop for a period. This could have an effect on the assessment of benefits. FPS 2015 explains what can count as "assumed pensionable pay" in certain circumstances so that benefits will not be affected. These circumstances include sick leave, injury leave, child-related leave and unpaid leave. Assumed pensionable pay is the pay that would have been received but for the absence.

In some circumstances, for example sick leave with reduced pay, assumed pensionable pay will be applied automatically. In other circumstances, such as sick leave with no pay, the application of assumed pensionable pay would depend upon a member choosing to pay, and paying, contributions for the relevant period.

Your FRA's pension administrator can inform you of your rights and options if this applies to you.

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