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Firefighters 1992 scheme – Active
Ill-health pension

Ill-health pension

If you have at least 2 years’ pensionable service, you may be considered at any age for an ill-health award. Before deciding to make such an award, the authority will seek the opinion of an independent qualified medical practitioner (“IQMP”).

There are 2 tiers of ill-health award – lower tier and higher tier. The lower tier award provides a lower tier ill-health pension only; a higher tier award provides a lower tier ill-health pension plus a higher tier ill-health pension. The award made will depend upon your length of service and the extent of the disablement which causes you to retire.

If you have at least 2 but less than 5 years of pensionable service and are permanently disabled for the performance of the duties of your role, you would be entitled to a lower tier ill-health pension upon retirement, i.e. a lower tier ill-health award.

If you have at least 5 years’ pensionable service and are permanently disabled for the performance of the duties of your role you would be entitled to a lower tier ill-health pension, i.e. a lower tier ill-health award. Should your disablement mean that, additionally, you are not capable of undertaking regular employment, you would also be entitled to a higher tier ill-health pension, i.e. a higher tier ill-health award. (“Regular employment” in this context means employment for at least 30 hours a week on average over a period of not less than 12 consecutive months beginning with the date on which the question of your disablement arises for decision.)

Calculation of lower tier pension

If you have less than 5 years' pensionable service, the lower tier ill-health pension is calculated in the same way as an age retirement pension, i.e.

1/60 x pensionable service x average pensionable pay

Assuming your average pensionable pay is £30,000 and you had completed 3 years' service at the date of retirement, your lower tier pension would be calculated as –

1/60 x 3 x £30,000.00 = £1,500.00 a year.

If you have 5 or more years' pensionable service, the lower tier ill-health pension is calculated in the same way as a deferred pension. For example, assuming that you could have completed 30 years' service by age 55 but have completed only 12 years at the date of retirement, and your average pensionable pay is £30,000, the lower tier pension would be calculated as –

12/30 x 40/60 x £30,000.00 = £8,000.00 a year

Calculation of higher tier pension

This involves a two-stage calculation. The first stage assesses a pension including an enhancement of service; the next stage deducts from the resultant pension an amount equal to the lower tier pension. The difference is the higher tier pension.

The enhancement of a pension depends upon your length of pensionable service. This is illustrated in the table below (where "APP" means average pensionable pay).

Enhancement according to length of pensionable service
5 or more years, but less than 10 each year of service will reckon as: 2/60 x APP
10 or more years, but less than 13 the formula is based on: 20/60 x APP
13 or more years the formula is based on: pensionable service* + 7/60 x APP
*each year of service to 20 years = 1/60; each year of service after 20 years = 2/60ths

The resultant pension, however, must not be greater than the age retirement pension that could be achieved at the normal pension age of 55, or age 60 in the case of Station Manager B and above. (And an age retirement pension must not be greater than 40/60ths of average pensionable pay.)

Assume that, in addition to the lower tier pension illustrated, you were entitled to a higher tier pension. You have 12 years' service. The enhanced pension which forms the first stage of the calculation would be based on 20/60ths of average pensionable pay. With average pensionable pay of £30,000.00 this would give:

20/60 x £30,000.00 = £10,000.00

The lower tier pension had been assessed as £8,000.00 a year and so the next stage of the calculation is to deduct this from the £10,000.00 assessed at the first stage:

£10,000.00 - £8,000.00 = £2,000.00

In this example, with entitlement to a higher tier award you would be paid a lower tier ill-health pension of £8,000.00 and a higher tier ill-health pension of £2,000.00 a year.

General

If you had a period of part-time service, both the lower and higher tier pensions would first be assessed as if your service were whole-time throughout, and then pro rated as explained in "Adjustment for part-time service" below. Part of a lower tier pension (but not a higher tier ill-health pension) can be commuted to provide a lump sum this is called "Commutation".