About the scheme

The Firefighters' Pension Scheme 2015 (FPS 2015) is a statutory, defined benefit, career average, public service pension scheme made under the Public Service Pensions Act 2013. Career average scheme benefits are calculated based on a proportion of pay for each year of membership.

Unlike occupational pension schemes in the private sector, FPS 2015 does not have trustees, nor does it have the type of pension fund which uses investments to help meet its liabilities. Although each fire and rescue authority maintains a “Firefighters’ Pension Fund” which –

  • receives contributions from firefighter members and from the employing fire and rescue authority,
  • pays out benefits to and in respect of members, and
  • makes and receives transfer payments to and from other pension schemes

an authority does not have the power to invest the money. If the Fund has insufficient money to meet all of its pension liabilities, the Secretary of State will make up the shortfall.  If the Fund is in surplus, the Secretary of State takes the excess to cover the shortfall in other Funds.

The FPS 2015 became operational on the1 April 2015. Operational firefighters paying into the FPS before this date contribute to one of the two previous schemes – the Firefighters' Pension Scheme 1992 ("FPS 1992") and the Firefighters' Pension Scheme 2006 ("FPS 2006") – continue in force for firefighters who were serving before that date and who are eligible to remain members of their earlier Scheme. 

They also continue in force for the previous pension rights of "transition members", i.e. those who are compulsorily transferred from an earlier Scheme to FPS 2015; the pension they have built up at the point of transfer is protected and will still be available for payment, reflecting some of the terms of their previous Scheme. 

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