Withdrawal or reduction of your pension

In certain circumstances a benefit payable under the FPS can be reduced or withdrawn as explained below.

A scheme member's benefits may be reduced by an "earmarking" or a pension sharing order issued on divorce, dissolution of a civil partnership, annulment or judicial separation – see Divorce and your pension.

A fire and rescue authority may withdraw the whole or part of a scheme member's pension in payment, for any period during which that person is employed by any fire and rescue authority, in any capacity.

A fire and rescue authority may withdraw a pension in whole or in part, permanently or temporarily, if the person otherwise entitled to the pension –

  • has been convicted of an offence of treason, or one or more offences under the Official Secrets Acts 1911 to 1989 (in the case of a dependant the offence must have been committed after the death of the Scheme member); or
  • has been convicted of an offence committed in connection with his/her service as an employee of a fire and rescue authority which is certified by the Secretary of State either to have been gravely injurious to the interests of the State or to be liable to lead to serious loss of confidence in the public service.

A pension is not payable to a dependant convicted of the murder of the FPS member from whose pension rights the pension would derive; if convicted of manslaughter of the member, the fire and rescue authority have discretion to withhold all or part of the pension.

If a person has been receiving an ill-health pension for less than ten years, and has not reached age 60 the fire and rescue authority must review – at such intervals as they think proper – the continuing entitlement of the person to receive the pension. To do this they will consider, with the help of a medical opinion, whether the person has recovered sufficiently to be capable of carrying out any duty appropriate to the role from which he/she was retired on health grounds. If a higher tier ill-health pension is in payment, the authority must also consider if the person has become fit enough to undertake any regular employment.

In the case of a lower tier award, if the person's condition has improved to the point at which he/she could return to his/her role as a firefighter and the fire and rescue authority offer such employment, the pension will cease. A person who takes up the employment would have the ill-health pension cancelled but the service upon which it was based would count towards a subsequent pension. If the person refuses the job offered, the ill-health pension would be cancelled and the service upon which it was based would count towards a deferred pension payable at age 60.

In the case of a higher tier award, if the person is considered fit to return to his/her former firefighter role, the position would be as described above (but service counting towards further pension entitlement would not include ill-health enhancement). If the person is considered fit for regular employment but not for his/her role as a firefighter, the higher tier pension would cease and the lower tier pension would continue in payment on its own.

Deferred pensions put into payment early on grounds of ill-health must be reviewed too.


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