If you do not wish to be a member, you can opt out of FPS 2015 at any time. To do so, you must give written notice to the fire and rescue authority.
If the notice is in electronic format, you should include a statement confirming that you personally submitted it.
The opting out process would be put into action from the date the notice is received by the authority.
If you opt out before the end of 3 months’ continuous scheme employment, or within 3 months of automatic re-enrolment, you will be treated as not having been a member in pensionable employment during this period. You will receive a refund of the contributions you have paid for that period.
If you opt out after 3 months continuous period of service in scheme employment or 3 or more months after automatic re-enrolment, you would be treated as having ceased pensionable service in the scheme. This would be actioned on the first day of the next pay period immediately after you opted out.
You would become a deferred member of the scheme from that date and you would cease to have any further cover under FPS 2015, other than that which is provided to a deferred member.
It is recommended that you seek independent financial advice if you are thinking about opting out. You would save the cost of contributions but may pay more by way of tax (contributions attract tax relief) and National Insurance contributions (while a FPS member you pay a lower, contracted-out rate).
Please remember that your dependants would cease to have pension cover. However, you would continue to be covered by the provisions of the Firefighters’ Compensation Scheme in the event of a qualifying injury.
Refund of contributions
You can have a refund of contributions only if you opt out of the scheme within 3 months of joining or of being automatically enrolled. The contributions you have paid would be returned through payroll with appropriate tax and National Insurance adjustments.