Calculating your Benefits
The FPS 1992 is a final salary pension scheme which means that your pension will be a proportion of final average pensionable pay. The proportion will depend, in part, upon how much pensionable service you have at the time of leaving the Scheme.
For each of the first 20 years of pensionable service, you will get 1/60th of average pensionable pay and for each of the following years you will get 2/60ths of average pensionable pay. Each day of pensionable service will count as 1/365th of 1/60th. The maximum number of 60ths that you can count is 40 (after 30 years' service).
If you retire at age 55 with 30 years of pensionable service and average pensionable pay of £30,000, your pension would be assessed as;
(20 x 1/60) + (10 x 2/60) x £30,000 = 40/60 x £30,000 = £20,000 annual pension
Or, if you retire at age 50 after 27 years with the same pay, your annual pension would be:
(20 x 1/60) + (7 x 2/60) x £30,000 = 34/60 x £30,000 = £17,000 annual pension
When you retire, you will have the option to 'exchange' or 'commute' part of the pension to provide a lump sum.
This is your service as a member of the FPS 1992 and in respect of which you have paid contributions. If you have ever worked part-time, the starting point for assessment of your pension is to use the pensionable service you would be able to count if whole-time.
Various other periods may count as pensionable service e.g. that credited on receipt of a transfer value from another pension arrangement, unpaid leave (including additional maternity and adoption leave) for which contributions have been paid, or service which previously counted towards a pension which has since been cancelled.
Any additional service that you may have purchased in the FPS 1992 by making additional contributions would also be included in the assessment of pension.
In most cases, your pensionable earnings will be an average of your pensionable pay over the last 365 days of pensionable service.
However, if either of the two preceding periods of 365 days would produce a greater amount, the final pensionable pay from one of those earlier periods could be substituted. This protects your pension if you have a reduction in pay in your last couple of years' service.
If at any time you have worked part-time, the starting point for assessment of your pension is to use the pensionable pay you would be able to count if whole-time.
Exchanging your Pension
If you prefer to have a lump sum, as well as a pension when you retire, you can provide one by Commutation. In order to do, you must give written notice to your Fire & Rescue Service (FRS), no earlier than 4 months before your intended retirement and no later than the day before your pension is due to come into payment.
You can commute as much or as little as you like, provided that you do not exceed the permitted limit. The limit depends upon the circumstances of your retirement, as follows;
Reason for your Retirement Limit on tax-free Cash (subject to HMRC limit) with an ill-health pension; or with an age retirement pension based on 30 years' pensionable service; or with a deferred pension; or at or after normal pension age (55) Maximum commutation of 25% of pension (only the lower tier ill-health pension can be commuted in the case of a higher tier ill-health award) at age 50 or over but below age 55, with 25 or more but less than 30 years' pensionable service Lump sum must not be greater than 2.25 times the pension before commutation
The amount provided as a lump sum is decided by factors provided by the Government Actuary. The factor used will depend upon your age in complete years and months on the day your pension commences.