National Update

Pensions - Second Options Exercise (update)

05 July 2024

It is appropriate to provide members with an update on the second options exercise process currently being undertaken by local fire and rescue services across the UK.

The second options exercise relates to the opportunity for in-scope (eligible) individuals to purchase retrospective pensionable service for their time as a Retained / On-Call firefighter. A similar process took place in 2014/15 for anyone who served between 01 July 2000 and 05 April 2006.

This second exercise focuses on service prior to 01 July 2000 (which includes any service between 07 April and 30 June 2000) back to the date an in-scope individual first joined the fire service as a Retained / On-Call firefighter.

We are already receiving numerous queries at FRSA HQ ranging from members who are wishing to have their calculation verified, to those concerned not to have heard anything from their current/former employer.

What has become apparent, is that some fire and rescue services have been more organised and diligent than others, causing a situation whereby some individuals have already received a pension forecast (e.g. Cheshire, Cambridgeshire and Essex) to those who are issuing notifications to eligible members stating that their pension estimates will be delayed due to high levels of demand.

While this is extremely disappointing for the individuals concerned, particularly as FRSs have been aware of this process for several years and therefore had time to put the necessary plans in place, we are not overly surprised.

What is extremely important, is that while it is clear some individuals will be dealt with quicker than others, through no fault of their own, depending on their respective FRS, every in-scope member needs to be assured that their application for the second options exercise is acknowledged by the relevant FRS for processing, even if that processing will take longer than others.

We will be putting together a video via our YouTube channel to cover a number of FAQs which will cover the majority of the queries we are receiving at FRSA HQ, in an attempt to speedily assist members in progressing their second option exercise.

In the meantime, any queries should be directed to FRSA HQ via hq@frsa.org.uk or the contact page on our website – https://www.frsa.org.uk/contact-us/

Tristan Ashby
Chief Executive Officer

Listen to our Podcast

Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast, Priority Message. The most recent episodes talk about the second options exercise for eligible On-Call firefighters to access later this year.

The Podcast can be accessed for free, via Spotify, Apple and Google.

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The App is available via the Apple App store and Google Play store and is FREE, just search FRSA and download.

Our offer to you

This 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.