Membership of FPS 2015 is open to any person taking up employment as a firefighter with a fire and rescue authority on or after 1 April 2015. This is under the terms which suggest he or she is or may be required to engage in firefighting, and whose role includes resolving operational incidents, or leading and supporting others in the resolution of such incidents.
Enrolment into the scheme is automatic on appointment. It does not matter what duty system you are contracted to work – you can be a full-time or part-time regular firefighter, a retained duty system firefighter or a volunteer. If you are moved to a firefighting role that does not include resolution of operational incidents at a later time, you can remain a scheme member, provided there is continuity of service.
Firefighters serving before 1 April 2015 and members of FPS 1992 or FPS 2006, will have been transferred compulsorily to FPS 2015 on 1 April 2015.
You will not have been transferred from the 1 April 2015 if you were:
- a member of FPS 1992 and within 10 years of the FPS 1992 normal pension age (55)
- a member of FPS 2006 and within 10 years of the FPS 2006 normal retirement age (60)
- a member of FPS 1992 or FPS 2006 and covered by tapered protection rules
Those in the first two categories above can remain a member of their current scheme until retirement. However, those in the final category can remain a member of their current scheme until they reach the date their tapered protection ends.
Those who are compulsorily transferred from an earlier scheme, whether at 1 April 2015, or at a later date under tapered protection rules, are considered eligible to be members of FPS 2015 even if they no longer satisfy the operational requirements set out above. This is provided that there is continuity of service.
Firefighter members of FPS 1992 or FPS 2006 who choose to opt-out of their current scheme can join FPS 2015 if they meet the operational and legal requirements for admission.
Opting in and automatic re-enrolment
If you opt out of the scheme and later change your mind, you can give the authority your written, signed election to re-join. This will be provided that you satisfy the membership conditions at that time.
Under automatic enrolment requirements introduced by the Pensions Act 2008, the authority has to periodically re-enrol members who have opted-out back into a pension scheme. This impacts all UK employers, although you do have the right to opt-out again, if this remains your choice.
Provided your option is made within 3 months of automatic re-enrolment, you will be entitled to a refund of any contributions paid since that date.