If you were to die in service as a member of the FPS 1992, a death grant would be payable. This would normally be 2 times your pensionable pay as at the date of death or, if you were absent from duty at that time, 2 times your pensionable pay immediately before the absence began. If you are working part time hours the pensionable pay would be the part time rate.
Tax rules prevent the payment of a death grant in respect of a person who has attained age 75 but it is unlikely that a firefighter would still be serving at that age.
The Fire & Rescue Service (FRS) would pay the death grant to your legal spouse or civil partner, provided they were not living apart at the time of death. (This means more than a physical separation, e.g. as would be the case if you were away from home attending a training course; it implies recognition by at least one of the spouses or partners that the marriage or partnership is at an end).
If you are not married, not in a civil partnership, and not living apart, the death grant would be paid to your personal representatives.
When a member of the FPS 1992 dies (whether before or after retirement), if he/she had completed at least 2 years' pensionable service a pension will be paid to a surviving spouse.
Provided a husband and wife were not living separately, the widow(er)'s pension would be half of the total lower and higher tier ill-health pensions to which the firefighter would have been entitled in the case of a active member i.e. if he/she had retired on health grounds on the date of death. For a retired scheme member, where the marriage took place before the member ceased to be a firefighter; half of the former firefighter's pension as calculated before any reduction was made for commutation; and in the case a firefighter, or former firefighter entitled to a deferred pension which was not in payment at the date of death – half of the deferred pension. If the member had worked part time, account will be taken of this in the assessment of the widow(er)'s pension.
For the first 13 weeks following the member's death, the spouse's or civil partner's pension, including any survivor's Additional Pension Benefit, will be topped up to the level of the deceased's pensionable pay (death in service) or the pension in payment (death after pension comes into payment). However, this top-up would NOT apply in the case of a deferred member which had not come into payment at the date of death. If no spouse's or civil partner's pension is payable, but a child's pension is due, the top-up would be applied to the child's pension.
If a member dies (before or after retirement) while in a registered civil partnership, the surviving partner would be entitled to a pension based on similar principles to those payable to a widow(er), but it would reflect service from 6 April 1988 only.
Note that NO survivor's pension will become payable to a Co-habiting partner under the FPS 1992.
When a member of the FPS 1992 dies (before or after retirement), a pension will be paid to an eligible child. The child's eligibility is assessed by dependency on the scheme member – he/she must have been dependent at the date of death and;
- a child of the member's marriage or civil partnership (where a marriage or civil partnership took place on or before the last day of service);
- an adopted child (where the adoption took place on or before the last day of service);
- a step-child (where on or before the last day of service the firefighter and the child's parent were married or formed a civil partnership and the child was subsequently dependent on the firefighter); or
- any other child provided the child was substantially dependent on the firefighter both at the last day of service and at the date of death (if different).
Account must also be taken of the child's age. If the child is below age 18, the pension will be payable in all cases. If aged 16 or over and under age 23, the pension will be payable only if the child was in whole-time education or permanently disabled at the date of the member's death and has been since. However, if a child has attained age 23, the pension will be payable only if the child was permanently disabled at the date of the member's death and has been since.
The amount of a child's pension due would depend upon the number of eligible children and whether or not the child or children have a surviving parent.
There is NO death grant payable if you have already left the service, or opted out of the FPS 1992 at the date of death.