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Deferred Members (No Longer Paying in)

If you leave your employment as a firefighter and you have enough service to qualify for a benefit, but you are not old enough to receive a pension and are not retiring due to ill-health, then you become a deferred member.

The sections below hold information about deferred membership in each of the current Firefighters’ Pension Schemes.

  • Deferred Pension in the FPS scheme

    If you leave your employment as a firefighter and you

    • have at least 2 years pensionable service or, if less, have had a transfer of personal pension rights into the FPS, and
    • are not eligible for immediate payment of an age retirement pension because you are not old enough and/or do not have the required length of service, and
    • are not retiring on grounds of ill-health,

    then you would be entitled to a deferred pension. You would also be entitled to a deferred pension if you opt out of the FPS while still in employment provided you have at least 2 years pensionable service or have had a personal pension transfer into the FPS. A deferred pension is calculated by first assessing the “hypothetical” pension a person would have received if their pensionable service had been continuous to normal pension age (55) or to age 60 for a firefighter in the role of Station Manager B and above. Then the hypothetical pension is “pro-rated” according to the period actually served.

    For example if you would have completed 30 years at normal pension age and your average pensionable pay at the date you leave is £27,000, the first part of the assessment of the deferred pension would be to work out the hypothetical pension as follows –
    (20 x 1/60) + (10 x 2/60) x £27,000 = 40/60 x £27,000 = £18,000.00 a year
    If your actual pensionable service at the date of leaving was 5 years, then the deferred pension would be 5/30ths of the hypothetical pension –
    5/30 x £18,000 = £3,000.00 a year.
    Part of the annual pension can be commuted to provide a lump sum if you wish. Any part-time service would be taken into account after the whole-time deferred pension has been assessed.

    If, in the previous example, 3 of the 5 years you had served were whole-time and 2 were half-time, the part-time deferred pension would be –
    3 + (1/2 x 2)/5 x £3,000.00 = £2,400.00 a year

    A deferred pension is put into payment at age 60. It can be paid earlier if the firefighter becomes permanently disabled for performing any duties appropriate to his/her former role. Or, if you wish, it could form the basis of a transfer value paid to some other pension scheme. This would include the New Firefighters Pension Scheme if you subsequently take up further employment as a firefighter and are eligible to join the New Scheme.

  • Deferred Pension in the NFPS scheme

    If you leave the NFPS (either because you cease to be a firefighter or because you opt out of the Scheme) having sufficient service to qualify for a pension but not being eligible for immediate payment because you are not old enough nor retiring on grounds of ill-health, then you would be entitled to a deferred pension. This would be assessed on the basic formula, i.e.
    annual pension = 1/60 x pensionable service x final pensionable pay

    For example, a firefighter aged 27 who has completed 6 years service and whose final pensionable pay is £25,000 would be entitled to a deferred pension of –
    6/60 x £25,000 = £2,500 a year

    As its name suggests, payment of a deferred pension would not be immediate. It would normally be put into payment at age 65. You could, however, request earlier payment from age 55. If your fire and rescue authority agree to the earlier payment then the pension would be paid right away but subject to a similar reduction as would apply in the case of a member-initiated early retirement pension (see page 11). If the firefighter in the above example were to request payment of the pension at age 59, the reduction (on current rates) would be 5% for each of the 6 years early (i.e. before 65) that the pension is being paid. The firefighter would receive immediate payment of –
    6/60 x £25,000 – (6 x 5%) = £2,500 – 30% = £2,500 – £750 = £1,750 a year

    A firefighter entitled to a deferred pension who suffers permanent ill-health before it is due to come into payment, to the extent that he/she would be unable to undertake regular employment (i.e. a similar test to that which would decide if a serving firefighter would be eligible for a higher tier ill-health pension) can have the deferred pension put into immediate payment without reduction. (There would be no enhancement of service, however, as there would be in the case of the higher tier ill-health pension.)

    Part of a deferred pension can be commuted to provide a lump sum if the firefighter wishes.

  • Deferred Pension in the Modified scheme
  • Deferred Pension in the CARE scheme

    If you cease to be an active member of the Scheme before you become entitled to the payment of retirement benefits, and have at least 3 months qualifying service or have had a transfer value paid into your pension account, you would become a deferred member of the Scheme.

    Your active members pension account would be closed and a deferred members account would be set up. This account would contain the value of your pension account at date of leaving.

    Should you return to Scheme membership within the 5 years after leaving, the deferred members account would be closed and your active members account would be re-established as if you had remained in pensionable service during the break but had received no pensionable pay for that period.

    If you do not return to active membership your pension will remain in the deferred members account until you become eligible to draw it.

  • Retirement from a deferred pension account

    You would become eligible to draw your pension on age grounds at deferred pension age, which is the same as your State pension age, or age 65 if that is higher. If you have an added pension account your retirement pension will be the total of the value of your deferred pension account, and your added pension, plus indexation.

  • Early retirement from deferred pension account

    If you wish, you could give written notice to the HSC Pension Service that you would like to receive your deferred pension at or after age 55 and before deferred pension age. In these circumstances, however, the pension would be subject to an early retirement reduction based on factors provided by the Scheme actuary.

  • Ill health retirement from deferred pension account

    Or if, before reaching deferred pension age, you suffer from ill-health to the extent that you would be incapable of undertaking regular employment and this incapacity will continue at least until deferred pension age, you could request early payment of the deferred pension on ill-health grounds. The decision as to entitlement would be made by the fire and rescue authority after they have considered the written opinion of an Independent Qualified Medical Practitioner.

    ​If awarded on ill-health grounds, your entitlement to the early payment would be kept under review by the HSC Pension Service until you reach deferred pension age. Should the HSC pension service consider that you had become capable of undertaking regular employment, payment of the pension would cease. If the pension continues in payment, no further review would be required once deferred pension age is reached; if payment ceases on review, it would be restored at deferred pension age.

    Part of the pension can be commuted to provide a lump sum or allocated to provide benefits for a dependant in the event of the members death.

  • Transferring Out your Deferred NIFRS Pension

    If you leave the Scheme and meet the two year qualifying period you will be entitled to a pension when you retire.

    Your pension is worked out when you leave the Scheme and it is calculated on how long you have been a member and your pensionable pay.  This pension is left in the Scheme where it will be revalued each year in line with the cost of living, until it starts to be paid.  This type of pension benefit is known as deferred benefits.  Up until you retire and your pension is paid you have two options. You can leave the pension as is until retirement, or you can transfer it out to your new/current scheme.

    If you would like to transfer your pension to another provider, you must request that they contact us to begin the transfer process.

    Beware of pension scams. Your pension is one of your most valuable assets and now that you have more choices about what you can do with your savings, scams are becoming more common, more sophisticated and harder to identify. You could lose all your pension savings in a moment, so it is important to be alert to false claims. More information on Pension Scams can be found here.

  • Opting in

    If you are still an employee of the fire service, an opted out previously, but would like to re-enroll in the pension scheme, you must fill out the below form and return it to your employers payroll department –

    *Add opt in form and details of where to send it here*