Opting out

You can opt out of FPS 2015 at any time if you do not wish to be a member.

To do so you must give a signed, written notice to the fire and rescue authority. If the notice is in electronic format, you should include a statement confirming that you personally submitted it. The option would be considered to have been exercised on the date the notice is received by the authority.

If you opt out before the end of 3 months' continuous scheme employment, or within 3 months of automatic re-enrolment you would be treated as not having been a member in pensionable employment during this period and would receive a refund of the contributions you have paid for the period.  

If you opt out 3 months or more after a continuous period of service in scheme employment or 3 or more months after automatic re-enrolment, you would normally be treated as having ceased pensionable service in the scheme on the first day of the pay period immediately after that in which you opted out. You would become a deferred member of the scheme from that date and you would cease to have any further cover under FPS 2015, other than that which is provided to a deferred member. 

Seek independent financial advice if you are thinking about opting out.

Opting out and Automatic Re-enrolment

If you opt out of the scheme and later change your mind, you can give the authority your written, signed election to rejoin, provided you satisfy the membership conditions at that time. 

Also, under “automatic enrolment” requirements introduced by the Pensions Act 2008 and which impact on all UK employers, the authority has to periodically re-enrol members who have opted out back into a pension scheme. You have the right to opt out again if this is your choice. Provided your option is made within 3 months of the date of automatic re-enrolment, you would be entitled to a refund of any contributions paid since that date.

Can I have a refund?

You can have a refund of contributions only if you opt out of the Scheme within 3 months of joining or of being automatically enrolled. The contributions you have paid would be returned through payroll with appropriate tax and National Insurance adjustments.


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