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

How much will I pay in?

View NFPS 2006 contribution and percentage rates.

1 Contribution rates

Your contributions will be 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. It will also include any retaining allowance paid to a member on a retained duty contract.

Contribution rates for 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018

Your pensionable payYour contribution rate
Up to £15,454 8.5%
£15,455 to £21,636 9.4%
£21,636 to £30,909 10.4%
£30,910 to £41,212 10.9%
£41,213 to £51,515 11.2%
£51,516 to £61,818 11.3%
£61,819 to £103,030 11.7%
£103,031 to £123,636 12.1%
£123,637 or more 12.5%

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, retained or volunteer firefighter, the contribution rate will be applied to the actual pensionable pay you receive.

Contribution rates from 1 April 2018

Your pensionable payYour contribution rate
Up to £15,609 8.5%
£15,610 to £21,852 9.4%
£21,853 to £31,218 10.4%
£31,219 to £41,624 10.9%
£41,625 to £52,030 11.2%
£52,031 to £62,436 11.3%
£62,437 to £104,060 11.7%
£104,061 to £124,872 12.1%
£123,873 or more 12.5%

2 Contributions during periods of absence

The contribution you pay would depend on the reason for your absence under the New Firefighters' Pension Scheme 2006 (NFPS 2006):

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 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 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.

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 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 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 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.

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.

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.

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.

Reserve Forces leave

You will pay contributions at your normal rate. If you are a regular firefighter, contributions are based on the pensionable pay you would have received from the authority 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.

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 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 unless your hours of employment are fewer than whole-time in which case the calendar length of your pensionable service would reflect your part-time hours. For example, if you have completed six calendar years pensionable service during which you worked half the whole-time hours, your pensionable service will be three years.

If you are a retained or volunteer firefighter the pensionable pay you receive is compared with the pensionable pay that would have been received by a whole-time firefighter in the same role over the same period (reference pay). This comparison will normally be made over each scheme year (1 April to 31 March) during your service. It will indicate the proportion of pensionable service which will count in each scheme year:

  • Actual pensionable pay/reference pay = pensionable service

If you are a retained or volunteer firefighter as well as a whole-time firefighter there is a limit on the total pensionable service you can accrue in the New Firefighters' Pension Scheme 2006 (NFPS 2006) under the two contracts. The limit is 45 years. It will apply regardless of whether the retained and whole-time employments are with the same or a different English fire and rescue authority. If your combined pensionable service should exceed 45 years you would be entitled to a refund of excess contributions.

4 How 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 (including, in the case of a retained firefighter, any retaining allowance)
  • 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.

Final 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.

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