1 Your options
As an active member you can:
- continue to work beyond your normal pension age (NPA) of 60 and postpone taking your retirement
- retire on reaching your NPA
- retire on a voluntarily basis from age 55
- take partial retirement and continue to work as a firefighter
- retire due to permanent disablement at any age with an unreduced and possibly enhanced pension
- have an employer-initiated retirement.
And you will receive:
- a pension for life
- a possible tax-free lump sum.
For details of the options available to you at retirement, please see the following flow-diagram.
2 If you decide to retire
Normal pension age (NPA)
Your normal pension age (NPA) is age 60 if you are retiring from active service and your retirement benefits will be paid without reduction.
If you leave the pension scheme before reaching age 60, the NPA will not apply to you. Instead you will be subject to the deferred pension age. This is the later of State Pension age and age 65 and your deferred benefits will be paid from that age without reduction.
If you are an active member when you decide to retire by leaving your employment as a firefighter on reaching your NPA, your pension will be payable without reduction.
You can choose to postpone your retirement by continuing to work as a firefighter beyond your 60th birthday and if you choose to do this you would continue to build standard benefits as well as receive an age addition. This will enhance the amount of pension you receive to reflect the fact that you have postponed receipt of your pension.
You also have the option to retire once you reach age 55. You can do this on a voluntary basis by leaving your employment as a firefighter or you can elect to take partial retirement and continue to work as a firefighter. If you choose to retire before you reach NPA then your pension will be reduced to reflect that it has been brought into payment early and consequently will be in payment for longer.
If you reach age 55 but have not yet attained your 60th birthday you may receive your retirement benefits without reduction for early payment. This is if the authority terminates your employment having determined that a retirement pension should be awarded on the basis that it would ‘assist the economical, effective and efficient management of its functions’ having taken account of the costs likely to be incurred in the particular case.
3 If you can no longer work due to illness or injury
If you have to retire at any age due to permanent disablement, you may be able to draw your benefits immediately without reduction for early payment.
Your employer will determine whether you are entitled to receive a lower or higher tier ill health pension. The conditions that must be met before your employer can determine your entitlement are as follows:
- You have three months' active membership in the Firefighters' Pension Scheme 2015 (FPS 2015) or have transferred benefits from another pension arrangement.
- An Independent Qualified Medical Practitioner certifies that in their opinion you are incapable of performing any of the duties of the role in which you were last employed because of incapacity of mind or body and this incapacity will continue until age 60.
- You are dismissed as a result of the incapacity.
If your employer determines that you are entitled to the payment of a lower tier ill health pension you will be able to draw the pension you have built up at the date of your retirement.
- You have a minimum of five years' active FPS 2015 membership or you are treated as having five years' active membership.
- An Independent Qualified Medical Practitioner certifies that in their opinion you are incapable of undertaking regular employment because of incapacity of mind or body and this incapacity will continue until age 60.
- You are entitled to a lower tier ill health pension.
If your employer determines that you are entitled to the payment of a higher tier ill health pension you will be able to draw the pension you have built up plus an additional 2% of the pension you would have earned had you remained in service to age 60.
If you qualify, your ill health pension will be paid unreduced.