e-bulletin – 13 October 2014

Retained Firefighters’ Pension Settlement Calculator
The Retained Firefighters’ Pension Settlement Calculator provided by central government has been updated for calculations up to 31 October 2014, the update includes the following changes:

  • Interest rate indices up to 1 October 2014
  • New ‘Unique identifier’ and ‘Address’ fields within the Basic details section
  • Maximum and minimum annual Reference Pay rates for retained firefighters from 2000/01 – 2014/15 for use in verifying reference pay data input by users
  • Improved compatibility with MS Excel 2007
  • Small change to the input data required for the Settlement lump sum section (the ‘Number of instalments made’ is now an input by the user).

The user manual has also been updated to reflect these changes.

Both the calculator and user manual will be available from the DCLG website.

New shared parental leave rules
New shared parental leave regulations will apply to employees expecting babies on or after 5 April 2015. Our legal representatives, Howes Percival, have provided members with a helpful Q&A as to what the new rules mean for employee and considers the practical implications for employers. Read more

Firefighters’ Pension Scheme governance consultation
The government has today published a consultation proposing new Governance arrangements to apply to the Firefighters’ Pension Schemes in England from 1 April 2015.

The consultation closes on 21 November and can be found, along with the draft regulations here.

The RFU will of course be producing a response and we would be happy to hear from any member who has a specific comment they would wish for us to include.

Firefighters’ charity to receive up to £1million in government funding
The latest letter from the Fire Minister, Penny Mordaunt MP, confirms that The Firefighters’ Charity will receive up to £1 million to enhance their existing services to Firefighters and fire service personnel. The charity will also be endowed with a further £1 million so that they are able to offer their services to both ambulance and search and rescue personnel as needed.

The full open letter to all Firefighters is available here.

Facebook Group for Retained Firefighters
We have now launched a facebook group specifically for Retained firefighters across the UK. The purpose of the group is for like-minded Retained firefighters to congregate to share their views on how to improve appliance availability across the UK, identifying good and bad practice.

If you already have a facebook account please join the group and contribute positively as often as possible, nobody knows how best to address the ongoing recruitment and retention issues better than Retained firefighters themselves.

Thank you.
John Barton
National General Secretary