1 If you die in service
If you die in service and you are an active member of the scheme, a tax-free lump sum death grant of three times your pensionable pay will be payable at the discretion of the West Sussex Fire & Rescue Authority to your nominee, personal representative or any other person appearing to have been your relative or dependant.
Your final pay is the higher of:
- the pensionable pay you received in the last year
- the average of the pensionable pay you received in the last three years.
2 How much dependants receive
Pensions for your spouse, civil partner, or cohabiting partner
In addition to the death grant, a pension will be paid to your surviving partner and eligible children providing you have been a member of the Firefighters' Pension Scheme 2015 (FPS 2015) for three or more months or have transferred other pension benefits into the scheme.
A person is treated as a surviving partner if they are your spouse, civil partner or eligible cohabiting partner. If you die in service and you are an active member, the surviving partner’s pension would be as follows:
- For the first 13 weeks, the pay you would have received.
- Following the first 13 weeks, half of the pension you would have received had you retired on the grounds of ill health with entitlement to a higher tier ill health pension.
If your surviving partner is more than 12 years younger than you at the time of death a reduction will be made to the pension payable of up to 50% of the pension.
A surviving partner’s pension is payable for life. It would not stop on marriage, remarriage or upon entering into a new partnership.
Pensions for eligible children
Generally, eligible children will be your or your partner’s natural, adopted or step-children who are below 18, or below 23 and continuing in full time education or on a course of at least one year’s duration. Dependent disabled children may be eligible at any age if they meet certain criteria.
Eligible children will receive a pension after your death of a quarter of the pension you would have received had you retired on the ground of ill health with entitlement to a higher tier ill health pension. If there are more than two eligible children then the equivalent of two children’s pensions are split equally across the children.
If there is no surviving partner’s pension payable, the pension that would have been paid to the surviving partner will be paid to the eligible children and paid in addition to their eligible child’s pension.
If there is more than one eligible child, the value of two children’s pensions, including the surviving partner’s pension where applicable, will be shared between all of the eligible children.
Allocation enables you to give up part of your pension at retirement to provide, on your death, a pension for a surviving partner or other dependant.
The allocated pension would be paid from your date of death but if your nominee were to die before you, the portion of pension allocated would be restored to you with effect from their date of death. An election to allocate:
- must be given no later than the day before retirement benefits become payable and no earlier than two months before
- can be in respect of more than one beneficiary
- is subject to medical evidence of good health and normal life expectancy
- may allocate up to a third of the amount of your annual rate of retirement pension.
The beneficiary of an allocation election must be a person who, when the allocation election is made is either:
- the spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner of the active member or the deferred member
- any other person the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Authority consents is substantially dependent on the active member or deferred member and would have been a dependant of the member if the member had died when the election was made.
In order to allocate part of your pension to your next of kin, please contact the Pensions Team.