Membership of FPSW 2015 is open to any person taking up employment as a firefighter with a FRS on or after 1 April 2015 on terms under which he or she is, or may be, required to engage in fire-fighting, 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 whole-time or part-time regular fire-fighter, a retained duty system fire-fighter or a volunteer. If, at a later time, you are moved to a firefighting role that does not include resolution of operational incidents, you can remain a Scheme member provided there is continuity of service.
Fire-fighters serving before 1 April 2015 and members of FPS 1992 or FPS 2007, will have been transferred compulsorily to FPS 2015 on 1 April 2015 unless on 1 April 2012 they were:
1. a member of FPS 1992 and within 10 years of the FPS 1992 normal pension age (55),
2. a member of NFPS 2007 and within 10 years of the NFPS 2007 normal retirement age (60), or
3. a member of FPS 1992 or NFPS 2007 and covered by "tapered protection" rules.
Those in categories '1' and '2' above can remain a member of their current Scheme until retirement; those in category '3' can remain a member of their current Scheme until they reach the date at which 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, provided that there is continuity of service.
Seek independent financial advice if you are thinking about opting out.
If you opt out of the Scheme and later change your mind, you can give the FRS your written, signed election to re-join, provided you satisfy the membership conditions at that time.
Also, under 'automatic enrolment' requirements introduced by the Pensions Act 2008 and which impact on all UK employers, the FRS has to periodically re-enrol members who have opted out back into a pension scheme. You have the right to opt out again if this is your choice. Provided your option is made within 3 months of the date of automatic re-enrolment, you would be entitled to a refund of any contributions paid since that date.