The FPS1992 is a final salary pension scheme. Your pension will normally be based on an average of your pensionable pay over the last year of service or, if greater, the average over one of the two previous years. In most cases, this ensures benefits are assessed on the highest level of pay in a firefighting career. But what if you have a reduction in pay which does not fall in those last 3 years?
On 1 April 2007 a new rule was introduced into the FPS; it allows a "two pension" option if a firefighter has a reduction in pensionable pay when taking up a different role or becomes entitled to a lower rate of pay in an existing role. Pension rights before the reduction in pay are "preserved" as a deferred pension and new pension rights start to accrue in respect of your period of service after the reduction. The first pension would be based on your pre-reduction pay, your second pension would be based on your post-reduction pay.
Both pensions would become payable when you are eligible to receive the second pension. But if, at that time, you would have been better off by not splitting your pension rights, you can ask the authority to cancel the split award and base your pension on your total pensionable service and final average pensionable pay. For example, cancellation may be to your advantage if, after the initial reduction in pay, you received a promotion.