Pension Update

National Bulletin - Age Discrimination

Age Discrimination - Remedy

Following confirmation that the government’s introduction of the FPS 2015 was illegal under Age Discrimination legislation, the Remedy provided is for ALL Firefighters to be transferred into the 2015 Scheme as of 01 April 2022.

It also provided for Firefighters to be permitted the opportunity to remain in their legacy scheme (1992 or 2006 Scheme inc. Special Members) for the intervening period, 01 April 2015 to 31 March 2022.

The decision as to whether the individual wishes to be in the 2015 Scheme or their legacy Scheme for this seven-year period is for the individual to make, based on their personal circumstances and one which benefits them most. It is also a decision that need not be made until a time when they are due to retire (deferred choice), this is assuming that they are still a member of the pension scheme.

However, the government now realises that there are some Firefighters who, back in 2015, for a variety of personal reasons, chose to opt-out of the FPS 2015, who may have taken a different course of action had they known that they could remain in their legacy Scheme until 31 March 2022.  

These individuals will, through legislation, be given the opportunity to opt back into their legacy scheme, retrospectively for the seven-year period (01 April 2015 to 31 March 2022). However, it is currently unclear as to whether this opportunity to buy-back will extend beyond 31 March 2022. This means that to safeguard the Firefighter’s position and to ensure that their pension is not deferred until the age of 60 (FPS 1992 and Special members) or 65 (FPS 2006), that they opt back into the FPS 2015.

This opportunity has come very late in the day from the Government and doesn’t give Firefighters much of a chance to make an informed decision. It is likely that this short timescale will be challenged for this reason.

Notwithstanding the short notice of this opportunity, the FRSA would strongly advise that if members who opted-out now wish to buy-back the Remedy period, that they make their FRS aware as soon as possible.

If you need further advice on this matter, please contact FRSA HQ.

Philip Hayes
Pension Lead, FRSA

Our offer to you

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.