Payment of pensions from active memberships
If the pension is payable at normal pension age, an active member must make a claim for payment; if the claim is received before employment ends, payment will begin on the day after the end of employment. If a claim is not received until after employment has ended, the pension will be paid from a date after the claim is made – the authority would notify the member of this date.
Where an active member is entitled to pension on employer initiated retirement, the pension is payable from the day after scheme employment ends.
If an active member has chosen the partial retirement option, the pension is payable from the day after the date on which the partial retirement option was exercised.
The first period for which an ill-health pension is payable is the day after the date on which the member's scheme employment is terminated.
Payment of a deferred pension
A deferred pension is paid from deferred pension age provided that the member has claimed payment. At the member's request it could be deferred further – up to age 75 – or it could be paid earlier, at or after age 55 but with an early payment reduction. If a request is made for early payment of deferred pension on ill-health grounds and the authority has agreed that payment can be made in these circumstances, it would commence from the date on which the deferred member satisfied the ill-health payment requirements. If this date cannot be established, payment would commence from the date of the member's request.
Payment of Survivor Pensions
Pensions for a surviving partner and eligible children will be paid from the day after the date of the member's death. In the case of an eligible child born after the death of the member, payment would commence from the date of the child's birth.
If a child is below the age of 18, the authority will decide who should receive the payments but would require the pension to be applied for the benefit of the child in accordance with the authority's instructions. If, after pensions have been awarded and apportioned between eligible children, the authority is made aware of an additional child who has a valid claim (this would include a child born after the member's death) the authority may make retrospective adjustments to the pensions. (The authority has a right to recover payments or overpayments in circumstances where it is considered appropriate to do so.)
If it appears to the authority that a person, other than an eligible child, is incapable of managing their affairs, e.g. because of mental incapacity, the pension may be paid to someone having the care of the person or to someone who will apply the benefit for the person concerned. Alternatively the authority may determine some other way in which the benefits should be applied for the benefit of the person.
Nomination of a death benefit
You can nominate who you would like to receive the lump sum death benefit, but the authority has absolute discretion as to the recipient(s), including legal personal representatives as named in Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration.
Payment of small pensions
If only a small pension is payable and is less than limits set by HM Revenue and Customs, subject to certain other requirements of the tax rules being satisfied (e.g. the age of the pensioner) the authority may commute the pension to a lump sum. Or the authority may decide to pay a small pension at less frequent intervals than the intervals at which they normally pay pensions.
When will my lump sum and pension be paid?
Pensions are usually paid in arrears in monthly instalments by the fire and rescue authority. Lump sums are paid by the authority as soon as possible after they become due.