Pension Update

Pension Update

Part-time Workers Pension Cases

We are now able to provide members (past and present) with an update regarding the ‘O’Brien’ pension cases. For background, the O’Brien case concerns discrimination against part-time judges in the calculation of pensions. The issue is whether periods of service as a part-time judge prior the coming into effect of Part Time Workers Directive (01 July 2000) should be taken into account in calculating the amount of pension to be paid upon retirement.

This case law will allow Retained/On-Call Firefighters to buy-back pensionable service prior to 01 July 2000 to the point at which they joined the fire service.

Last week we met for the first time with the Home Office and other interested parties to discuss issues of eligibility and mechanisms of process. While there were areas of agreement on some of the eligibility criteria there was also areas of disagreement. Due to these talks being confidential, it would not be appropriate to go into detail publicly. However, further talks are scheduled in the coming weeks and we are confident that further progress will be made.

In the meantime, if you have service that predates 01 July 2000 we strongly suggest that it would be in your best interests to be a member of the FRSA, either as a full member (if you are still serving) or an Associate member (if you have retired from service).

We discovered during the original options exercise for the Modified Pension Scheme in 2014/15, that as an organisation we are in an extremely favourable position, in that our record-keeping has proven to be far superior than the majority of FRSs and other unions.

The second options exercise is likely to rely even more on good record-keeping due to the significant time period involved and we feel that the FRSA is best placed to support the interests of Retained/On-Call Firefighters during this process.

If you are not a member you can join via our website.