Pension Update

National Bulletin - Pensions

Modified Pension Scheme – update

It has been a while since I last provided members with an update regarding the implications of the ‘O’Brien’ case which will provide an opportunity for eligible firefighters (serving and retired) to purchase retrospective pension service back to the date that they joined the fire service.  

The FRSA has been in negotiations with the relevant parties for a number of months which has progressed (slowly) to the point where we were able to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlining an agreed way forward which states the following:

Within 6 weeks of this Memorandum being signed by all parties, the FBU and FRSA will notify their members who may be affected by this Memorandum, using any usual written means for communicating such matters, that:

a)  it has been agreed with the Home Office and FRAs that their claims will be resolved via a second options exercise, pursuant to legislation;

b)  a detailed explanation of the terms of the second options exercise will be provided once the required legislation has been produced by the Home Office in draft.

This e-bulletin acts as the written means of communicating the above.

While further, more detailed advice will be forthcoming once the legislation has been produced by the Home Office, I would strongly suggest that if you believe that you are likely to fall within the eligibility criteria that you either remain a member of the FRSA or swiftly become a member of the FRSA.

The experiences of the first options exercise back in 2014/15 demonstrated that such a process is not necessarily a formality, and the importance of union representation cannot be understated to ensure your (current/former) employer complies with their legal obligation to provide you with the opportunity to purchase retrospective pension service.

In some cases where there is a dispute on the question of your eligibility, the FRSA will be able to provide the necessary support and advice to pursue your claim. Only FRSA members can access our support on this matter.

If you believe you were eligible to join the Modified Pension Scheme back in 2014/15 but did not do so due to a lack of information, it is advised that you contact FRSA HQ for further advice.

If you were a serving Retained firefighter prior to 01 July 2000 and did not join the Modified Pension Scheme during the first options exercise in 2014/15 and now wish to do so, it is advised that you contact FRSA HQ for further advice.

A further update will be provided to members in due course, please ensure you are signed up to our e-bulletins.

Tristan Ashby
Chief Executive Officer, FRSA

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A new information leaflet is available encapsulating the key benefits of being a member of the FRSA. The document is available via our website and we would recommend that this is shared with your colleagues on station.