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Firefighters 2006 scheme – Active
What is pensionable service?

What is pensionable service?

This is your period of service as a member of FPS2006 and in respect of which you have paid contributions. If your hours of employment are less than whole-time, the "calendar" (qualifying) length of service would be pro rated to reflect your part-time hours. For example if you work half-time and have completed six "calendar" years of service, your pensionable service will be three years.

Various other periods may count as pensionable service, e.g. service credited on receipt of a transfer value from another pension arrangement, or unpaid leave (including additional maternity, paternity and adoption leave) where you have paid contributions, or "purchased" service where you have paid contributions to improve retirement benefits, or service which previously counted towards a FPS2006 pension which has been cancelled.

What if you are a retained firefighter?

For regular firefighters, this is their period of service as a member of FPS2006 and in respect of which they have paid contributions. If their hours of employment are less than whole-time, the "calendar" (qualifying) length of service would be pro rated to reflect their part-time hours. For example if a regular firefighter worked half-time during six "calendar" years of service, the pensionable service for the pension calculation would be three years.

For retained firefighters, however, a totally different approach has to be used, based on pay. The actual pensionable pay they receive is compared with the pay that would have been received over the same period by a whole-time regular firefighter in the same role and with similar service. FPS2006 calls this "reference pay". The comparison will normally be made over each financial year (1 April to 31 March) during the firefighter's pensionable employment. It will indicate the proportion of pensionable service which will count in each financial year. Example, a retained firefighter worked for 3 financial years – from 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2010. Assume the pay of a whole-time regular firefighter in a similar role over the same 3 year period was:

1.4.2007 to 30.5.2007 £24,000

1.7.2007 to 30.6.2008 £26,000

1.7.2008 to 30.6.2009 £28,000

1.7.2009 to 30.6.2010 £30,000

These rates of pay would be the starting point for working out the retained firefighter's pensionable service. Next we need to break down these rates of pay to show how much would actually have been received by the whole-time regular firefighter within each of the financial years:

Year 1 1.4.2007 to 30.6.2007 91/365 x £24,000 £ 5,983.56
1.7.2007 to 31.3.2008 274/365 x £26,000 £19,517.81
£25,501.37
Year 2 1.4.2008 to 30.6.2008 91/365 x £26,000 £ 6,482.19
1.7.2008 to 31.3.2009 274/365 x £28,000 £21,019.18
£27,501.37
Year 3 1.4.2009 to 30.6.2009 91/365 x £28,000 £ 6,980.82
1.7.2009 to 31.3.2010 274/365 x £30,000 £22,520.55
£29,501.37

The pensionable pay received by the retained firefighter has to be established. For this example, the pay records show that the pensionable pay received by the retained firefighter was –

Year 1: £6,429.12

Year 2: £4,132.56

Year 3: £8,528.21

To work out the service credit for each financial year, we divide the pensionable pay received by the retained firefighter by the pensionable pay received by the whole-time regular firefighter:

Year 1: £6,429.12/£25,501.37 = 0.2521 of a year

Year 2: £4,132.56/£27,501.37 = 0.1503 of a year

Year 3: £8,528.21/£29,501.37 = 0.2891 of a year

Total: 0.6915 years' pensionable service

It is 0.6915 years (approximately 252 days) that would be the pensionable service used in the pension calculation.

Various other periods may count as pensionable service, e.g. service credited on receipt of a transfer value from another pension arrangement, or unpaid leave (including additional maternity, paternity and adoption leave) where the firefighter has paid contributions, or "purchased" service where contributions have been paid to improve retirement benefits, or service which previously counted towards a FPS2006 pension which has been cancelled.