Information for members of the LGPS and those with police, firefighter, teacher and NHS pensions
Last updated:
25 January 2017

How much do I pay in?

Your FPS 1992 contributions, including those during and periods of absence.

1 How your contributions are calculated

Your contributions are assessed on the pensionable pay you receive, including all permanent emoluments determined by the firefighter’s role or, in the case of a Chief Fire Officer and/or their assistants, the salary appropriate to the overall responsibilities of the post.

Contribution rates for 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017

Your pensionable payYour contribution rate
Up to and including £15,301 11.0%
£15,301 up to and including £21,422 12.2%
£21,422 up to and including £30,603 14.2%
£30,603 up to and including £40,804 14.7%
£40,804 up to and including £51,005 15.2%
£51,005 up to and including £61,206 15.5%
£61,206 up to and including £102,010 16.0%
£102,010 up to and including £122,412 16.5%
More than £122,412 17.0%

The contribution rate you will pay will be determined at the start of each scheme year (1 April). In determining the band you fall into it is the pay that a whole-time firefighter would receive for the role you hold that is used rather than your actual pensionable pay.

Although your contribution rate would be determined by reference to the whole-time equivalent pay, if you are a part time firefighter, the contribution rate will be applied to the actual pensionable pay you receive.

Currently, members of the Firefighters Scheme pay contributions throughout their active scheme membership, however, the rules will be changing at the end of 2016. The new rules will state that if you are able to build up 30 years pensionable service before you reach age 50, you will not be required to pay pension contributions between the date you reach 30 years pensionable service and the date you reach your 50th birthday. If this rule affects you, we will contact you. The contribution bands are due to change and are set for the next two years as:

Contribution rates for 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018

Your pensionable payYour contribution rate
Up to and including £15,454 11.0%
£15,454 up to and including £21,636 12.2%
£21,636 up to and including £30,909 14.2%
£30,909 up to and including £41,212 14.7%
£41,212 up to and including £51,515 15.2%
£51,515 up to and including £61,818 15.5%
£61,818 up to and including £103,030 16.0%
£103,030 up to and including £123,636 16.5%
More than £123,636 17.0%

Contribution rates from April 2018

Your pensionable payYour contribution rate
Up to and including £15,609 11.0%
£15,609 up to and including £21,852 12.2%
£21,852 up to and including £31,218 14.2%
£31,218 up to and including £41,624 14.7%
£41,624 up to and including £52,030 15.2%
£52,030 up to and including £62,436 15.5%
£62,436 up to and including £104,060 16.0%
£104,060 up to and including £124,872 16.5%
More than £124,872 17.0%

2 Contributions during periods of absence

The contribution you pay would depend on the reason for your absence:

Illness or injury leave

Contributions will be taken from the pensionable pay you actually receive. Where you do not receive any pensionable pay you will not build any pension unless you elect to pay the pension contributions for this period of leave.  The contributions due will buy back the pension lost and will be based on the pensionable pay you received immediately before your pensionable pay stopped. You will also be required to pay the employer contribution due.

Child-related leave

Contributions will be taken from the pensionable pay you actually receive. Where you do not receive any pensionable pay after the first 26 weeks of your leave, you will not build any pension unless you elect to pay the pension contributions for this period of leave. The contributions due will buy back the pensionable service lost and will be based on the pensionable pay you received immediately before your pensionable pay stopped. You will not be required to pay the employer contribution due.

Unpaid leave

You will not pay contributions and you will not build any pension unless you elect to pay the pension contributions for this period of leave. The contributions due will buy back the pensionable service lost and will be based on the pensionable pay you received immediately before your leave started. You may also be required to pay the employer contribution due.

Trade dispute

You will not pay contributions and you will not build any pensionable service unless you elect to pay the pension contributions for this period of leave. The contributions due will buy back the pensionable service lost and will be based on the pensionable pay you received immediately before your leave started.  You may also be required to pay the employer contribution due.

Reserve Forces leave

You will pay contributions at your normal rate. These contributions are based on the pensionable pay you would have received from the authority had you not been on leave. 

Pensionable service is the period of your scheme membership that we use to calculate your scheme benefits and on which you have paid or are treated as having paid pension contributions.

3 How your pensionable service is calculated

Pensionable service is the period of your scheme membership that we use to calculate your scheme benefits and on which you have paid or are treated as having paid pension contributions.

Each day of pensionable service will count as 1/365th of 1/60th for your first 20 years of pensionable service and 1/365th of 2/60th for your next 10 years of pensionable service. The maximum pensionable service you can build is 30 years.

If you work part-time we would first calculate your benefits assuming you had worked whole-time throughout your active scheme membership. We would then multiply this whole-time pension by the actual length of service as a proportion of the whole-time length to give the part-time pension. It is the part-time pension that would be awarded to you.

For example, if you retired at age 55 having worked whole-time for 20 years and half-time for six years and your average pensionable pay was £36,000:

  • the whole-time pension would be (20 x 1/60) + (6 x 2/60) x £36,000 = £19,200.00 a year
  • the part-time pension would be (23/60 x £19,200.00) = £16,984.62 a year.

4 How your pensionable pay is calculated

Contributions, pensions and certain other benefits are based on ‘pensionable pay’ and ‘final pensionable pay’.

The items treated as pensionable are:

  • 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
  • the amount forgone if you have agreed to surrender the right to receive part of your pensionable pay in exchange for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Authority providing a non-cash benefit (this is sometimes referred to as salary sacrifice)
  • the amount paid for continued professional development.

Any payments you receive for continued professional development will be used to calculate an additional pension benefit that is calculated in line with guidance issued by the scheme actuary. The remaining payments are used to calculate your pensionable pay.

Average pensionable pay is the greater of:

  • pensionable pay, at whole-time rate, averaged over the last 365 days of scheme membership
  • that year’s pensionable pay, if either of the two preceding years would produce a greater amount.

5 How your pension is calculated

The Fire Pension Scheme 1992 (FPS 1992) is a final salary scheme. This means that the pension you build up is based on the amount of pensionable service you have built up and your earnings when you leave the scheme. We work out your pension using the following formula:

  • average pensionable pay x pensionable service (for the first 20 years) x 1/60

plus:

  • average pensionable pay x pensionable service (for the next 10 years) x 2/60

Average pensionable pay, in most cases, will be your pensionable pay, at whole-time rate, averaged over the last 365 days of pensionable service. However, if either of the two preceding years would produce a greater amount, that year’s pensionable pay would be used instead.

Each day of pensionable service will count as 1/365th of 1/60th for your first 20 years of pensionable service and 1/365th of 2/60th for your next 10 years of pensionable service. The maximum pensionable service you can build is 30 years.

If you work part-time we would first calculate your benefits assuming you had worked whole-time throughout your active scheme membership. We would then multiply this whole-time pension by the actual length of service as a proportion of the whole-time length to give the part-time pension. It is the part-time pension that would be awarded to you.

For example, if you retired at age 55 having worked whole-time for 20 years and half-time for 6 years and your average pensionable pay was £36,000:

  • the whole-time pension would be (20 x 1/60) + (6 x 2/60) x £36,000 = £19,200.00 a year
  • the part-time pension would be (23/60 x £19,200.00) = £16,984.62 a year.

In addition to your basic entitlement of 1/60th you may also be entitled to a long service increment.

Long service increment

If you have pensionable service that includes 30 June 2007 and you were entitled to a long service increment or an interim or transitional payment connected with long service on or after 1 October 2007 you:

  • retire from your employment as a firefighter; or
  • become entitled to a deferred pension.

You will be credited with an additional pension benefit of [A + (B x 2) x £990]/60.

This where:

  • A is the number in years by which your continuous pensionable service in an English fire and rescue authority up to and including 30 June 2007 exceeds 15 but not 20
  • B is the number in years by which your continuous pensionable service in an English fire and rescue authority up to and including 30 June 2007 exceeds 20 but not 30. (Years are counted as part years, where appropriate.)

Additional pension benefit

If you have received a payment for continual professional development you will build up an additional pension benefit (APB). The value of the APB to which you will be entitled will be determined annually on each 1 July in accordance with guidance and tables provided by the scheme actuary.

If you have a reduction in pensionable pay or you take up a different role within West Sussex Fire & Rescue Authority we will split your basic pension into two parts to protect your final salary benefits. When you leave and your benefits become payable we will pay both parts.

  • Part 1 of your pension is in respect of your pensionable service from the date you joined to the date of your pensionable pay reduction. This period is treated as if it became a deferred pension at the date the pensionable pay reduction took effect and so is linked to your final pensionable pay (allowing for cost of living increases) that applied before the reduction to your pay.
  • Part 2 represents the remainder of your pensionable service and is linked to your final pensionable pay at date of leaving. However, if the final pensionable pay that is applied to the second part of your pension now exceeds the final pensionable pay (allowing for cost of living increases) applied to the first part of your pension you can elect to have the two parts of your pension aggregated and for your retirement benefits to be calculated on your final pensionable pay at date of leaving.

You can visit the retirement illustrator to see how much your pension will be at your retirement. We hope you find it helpful in planning for your future. Although we can’t predict what will happen between now and when you retire, this modeller will help you to plan your finances.

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