When can I retire?

You must have at least 3 months' qualifying service in the FPS 2015 to be entitled to a pension. Qualifying service is the calendar length of scheme membership.

Normal pension age for the FPS 2015 is age 60. If you choose to remain an active scheme member after age 60, you would continue to build up pension and would get an "age addition" to reflect the fact that you have worked for longer. There is no limit to the amount of pension that you can build up by remaining in service.

You can ask for payment of your pension before age 60 as long as you have reached age 55. Your pension may be reduced for early payment.

An ill-health pension may be payable at any age.

The FPS 2015 retirement decision tree and FPS 2015 retirement factsheet outline the various options for retirement.

Retirement at normal pension age

If you are an active member at normal pension age (60) you can draw your pension at any time. Your active member's account and any added pension account would be closed and a retirement account set up. There would be no reduction for early retirement but there may be an age addition if you had continued in service after age 60.

Early retirement

If you are an active member and want to draw your pension after age 55 but before age 60, you can tell your FRA in writing that you would like to receive your pension early. In these circumstances, the pension would be reduced to take account of the fact that it will be paid for longer. Reductions are worked out by the Scheme Actuary and are shown in the table below.

FPS 2015 active early retirement factors
Age 55 56 57 58 59
Percentage reduction 21.3% 17.7% 13.7% 9.5% 4.9%

Partial retirement

There is also an option for partial retirement once you have reached age 55 if you want to draw your pension but continue your employment as a firefighter without a break and build up extra pension. Your active member's account and any added pension account would be closed, and the pension held in those accounts would be put into payment, subject to an early payment reduction if you had not reached age 60.

A new active member's account would be opened for the pension you will build up in your continuing membership. The second pension will become payable, on similar terms to your first pension, when you are ready to draw it.

Employer initiated early retirement

A retirement pension may also be paid to an active member at or after age 55 but before age 60 without any early payment reduction in the event of employer initiated retirement. This is where the FRA decide that you should be retired in the interests of the economical, effective and efficient management of the service, having taken account of how much it would cost - as there would still be a cost to paying the retirement pension before normal pension age, but in these circumstances the employer would pick up the cost rather than the member.

If you have previous service in FPS 1992 or FPS 2006, you can take the pension you have built up in that scheme at the normal retirement age for that scheme.

The minimum retirement age for the FPS 2015 is 55. If you have some FPS 1992 benefits and want to retire before age 55, your FPS 2015 pension would be deferred to state pension age. However, you could ask for it to be paid from age 55 with reductions for early payment.

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