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Retained Firefighters Modified Scheme (2006)

The Modified Scheme (2006) is a final salary scheme which links the build-up of your pension to the earnings Firefighters receive in their final year of membership. 

The benefits available in the Modified Scheme (2006) are comparable to both Firefighters Pension Schemes (FPS) 1992 and 2006. The Modified Scheme (2006) is technically an add-on to the FPS 2006 but many of the benefits such as the retirement age are reflective of the FPS 1992 to which these members would have been able to join had the scheme been extended to retained members. 

Following the introduction of the Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000, a claim was made by a number of retained Firefighters that they should receive equal treatment with full-time regular Firefighters and thereby be able to access pension benefits under the FPS 1992. The claim proceeded through to the Employment Tribunal and Court of Appeal before judgement was given in the House of Lords in favour of the retained Firefighters.

Although retained Firefighters were eligible to join the FPS 2006 from 6 April 2006, the House of Lords judgement allowed those who were serving during the period 1 July 2000 to the date on which they elected to join the FPS 2006 to have special provisions - which generally reflect the rules of the FPS 1992. They could not be given backdated membership of the FPS 1992 because that scheme is now closed. Consequently, the FPS 2006 was amended to introduce pension benefits for these "special" retained Firefighters. Any service before 1 July 2000 will not be counted as pensionable service.

Those who qualified for special membership of the FPS 2006 (i.e., the Modified Scheme) had to make an election to join no later than 30 September 2015 (as extended by Statutory Instrument (SI) 2015/590).

If you were a regular Firefighter employed under a single contract (that includes regular and retained duties, including duty systems such as ‘day crewing’) during this period, your duties as a retained Firefighter are not recognised as part-time work. So, Firefighters employed under ‘day crewing’ contracts between 1 July 2000 and 5 April 2006 inclusive were not permitted to join the Modified Scheme (2006) for any retained elements of their contract. 

Retained Firefighters who left their employment after 5 April 2006 and, without a break in service, took up employment as a regular Firefighter, will have been given the option to combine these periods of service under the Modified Scheme (2006). 

You will automatically join the Modified Scheme (2006) if you transfer from another fire and rescue authority and you were a member of the Modified Scheme (2006) in that employment. 

If you joined an English fire and rescue authority after 5 April 2006, you are not eligible to join the 2006 Modified scheme (also known as the ‘modified arrears scheme’). 

As entry to the Modified Scheme (2006) closed on 30 September 2015, current active members will be those who: 

  • were retained operational firefighters
  • were employed by a fire and rescue authority between 1 July 2000 and 5 April 2006
  •  elected to join the Modified Scheme (2006) before 1 October 2015
  • have not opted out of the Modified Scheme (2006)

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