Firefighters 1992 scheme
If you do not want to be a member of the FPS1992 you can opt out at any time by giving written notice to the authority. The notice would take effect from the following pay day.
Under FPS1992 rules, a member:
- with less than 3 months' service when the notice takes effect would receive a refund of any contributions he/she had paid;
- with 3 months' or more but less than 2 years' qualifying service, would have a choice of a refund or a transfer of accrued pension rights to another pension arrangement;
- with 2 or more years' service would have entitlement to a deferred pension or a transfer of accrued rights to another pension arrangement.
Because the FPS1992 became a closed pension scheme in April 2006, a person who opts out now will usually have more than 2 years' service and so would qualify for the deferred pension or transfer option.
On opting out, you would cease to have any further cover under the FPS1992 (other than that provided by any deferred pension). You would, however, continue to be covered by the provisions of the Firefighters' Compensation Scheme in the event of a qualifying injury.
If you subsequently change your mind and wish to rejoin the FPS1992 you would not be permitted to do so. Instead, according to your eligibility, you would be allowed to join another suitable pension scheme provided by the fire and rescue authority. Also, under “automatic enrolment” requirements introduced by the Pensions Act 2008 and which impact on all UK employers, the authority will have to periodically re-enrol you into a pension scheme. (You would have the right to opt out again if you wish.)
Seek independent financial advice if you are thinking about opting out of the FPS1992.
You would save the cost of contributions but would probably pay more by way of tax (contributions attract tax relief). You and your dependants would cease to have the cover which active membership of the FPS1992 provides.
You will be automatically opted back in to the scheme on your Fire and Rescue Authorities auto enrolment re-enrolment date. If you are either re-enrolled or choose to opt back in to the scheme you may join the FPS2015 and not FPS1992, depending on your protection status.