Fire Pension Scheme
The Firefighters’ Pension Scheme is a tax approved, defined benefit occupational pension scheme. The arrangements under the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme 1992 (1992 Scheme), the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme 2007 (2007 Scheme) and from 1 April 2015, the new Firefighters’ Pension Scheme 2015 (2015 Scheme) offer a range of benefits that provide financial security both in the time up to retirement and beyond.
The administration of these Schemes is undertaken by Carmarthenshire County Council on behalf of Mid & West Wales Fire & Rescue Service and North Wales Fire & Rescue Service (referred to as the Fire & Rescue Service - FRS). The Council is responsible for the maintenance of this site and is involved in every stage of your membership. This means that we work closely with each Fire & Rescue Service to ensure the accurate and timely flow of information in the administration of your pension record(s).
You will note that the website has been split between the 1992 Scheme, the 2007 Scheme and the new 2015 Scheme and you will therefore need to refer to the appropriate section in order to find out more about your scheme.
These Schemes are very secure because the benefits are set out in law and regulated by Parliament, plus there is no link to the Open-market, unlike with any defined contribution scheme.
Carmarthenshire County Council, as the administering authority of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) for the Dyfed Pension Fund and administrator of the Police and Firefighters’ Pension Schemes, use your personal data in accordance with Data Protection legislation to provide you with pension administration service. For more information about how we use your data, who we share it with and what rights you have to in relation to your information, please click here.
Court of Appeal transitional protections judgment (December 2018)
As you may be aware, the Court of Appeal have now handed down the judgment in the Firefighters transitional appeals case. The full judgment is available here.
It is important to note that the case relates only to the transitional protection arrangements in the 2015 firefighters’ pension scheme, and whether these are discriminatory. It does not address the introduction of that scheme itself by the primary legislation of the Public Service Pensions Act 2013.
The case itself has rested on two principles:
- Did government have a ‘legitimate aim’ in introducing the transitional protection as it did, noting a legitimate aim cannot be solely for financial reasons? and
- Were the means to achieve this appropriate and reasonably necessary?
The earlier employment tribunal and the employment tribunal appeals had reached the answer ‘yes’ on this first question, however, the court of appeal has overturned the first two judgments, coming to the conclusion in paragraph 233 that ‘the manner in which the transitional provisions have been implemented has given rise to unlawful direct age discrimination’.
The court found that, having introduced the protections, the Government should have justified the discriminatory impact but that it had failed to do so, and therefore justification on the grounds of legitimate aims must fail. As a result they dismissed any further deliberation over the question on proportionality of means.
The judgment remits it to the employment tribunal to consider remedy (as per the final sentence of paragraph 164) but, before that step Government can apply for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court, so we cannot speculate on what remedy might involve or what timeframe. It is important to note that nothing has yet changed in law, and so there is no action for scheme managers or administrators to take with regards to the scheme.
Regulatory Update (October 2018)
The Police and Firefighters’ Pension (Amendment) Regulations 2018 came into force on 8th October 2018. These regulations amended the Fire Pension Scheme (FPS) 1992, however, the Firefighters' Pension Scheme (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 came into force on 1st June 2018 and amended the FPS 2007 (Wales).