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

What if I am absent without pay?

Types of absences and how they affect your RFMPS 2006 contributions.

1 Sickness or injury leave

While you receive pay you will continue to build up pensionable service. You will also pay contributions at your normal rate based on the pensionable pay you receive.

If you enter unpaid illness or injury leave, you will not pay contributions and you will no longer build up pensionable service unless you elect within six months of your return from leave 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 would have received had you not been on leave. If you are a retained or volunteer firefighter, contributions are based on the average pensionable pay for the 12 months that immediately preceded your leave by the number of days you are on leave.

You will also be required to pay the employer contribution due.

If you pay additional contributions to purchase additional service and you enter a period of:

  • reduced pay - the payment of your additional contributions will continue and would be taken, ignoring the reduction to your pensionable pay (full rate)
  • nil pay - the payment of these additional contributions would stop unless you required West Sussex Fire & Rescue Authority to take payment of the additional payments during your unpaid leave. If your additional contributions stopped, you would not build up additional service for this period of leave unless, within one month of your return from leave, you instruct the authority to deduct from your pay the additional contributions you missed.

3 Reserve Forces leave

If you are absent due to Reserve Forces leave, your employer will liaise with the Ministry of Defence to deduct and pay over the relevant contributions while you are being paid by them, ensuring you do not lose out.

You will pay contributions at your normal rate. If you are a retained or volunteer firefighter, contributions are based on the average pensionable pay for the 12 months that immediately preceded your leave by the number of days you are on leave.

Contact your employer if you are expecting to be called up for Reserve Forces duty.

4 Authorised absences (including jury service)

If you are on authorised absence, your contributions will stop and you will not build up any pensionable service during the absence unless you elect within six months of your return from leave 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 average pensionable pay for the 12 months that immediately preceded your leave by the number of days you are on leave. You will also be required to pay the employer contribution due.

If you pay additional contributions to purchase additional service whether or not the payment of your additional contributions are affected will depend on the length of your leave. Where your leave is of short duration your additional contribution will be unaffected by the absence as the deduction required will be taken in full.

If, however, your leave will span one or more months, your additional contributions would stop unless you required West Sussex Fire & Rescue Authority to take payment of the additional payments during your unpaid leave. If your additional contributions stopped, you would not build up additional service for this period of leave unless, within one month of your return, you instruct the authority to deduct from your pay the additional contributions you missed.

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5 Strike absences

If you are on strike, your contributions will stop and you will not build up any pensionable service during the absence unless you elect within six months of your return from leave 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 average pensionable pay for the 12 months that immediately preceded your absence by the number of days you are on strike. You will also be required to pay the employer contribution due.

If you pay additional contributions to purchase additional pension your contribution will be unaffected by the absence as the required deduction required will be taken in full.

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