Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service

Circular 59/2015 – FIREFIGHTERS’ PENSION BULLETIN – Treatment of Temporary Promotions

Colleagues

 The purpose of this Circular is to provide an update to the e-mail dated 24 February 2015 and Circular 35/2015 which informed members of amendments to the treatment of temporary promotions in respect of The Firefighters- Pension Scheme Order (Northern Ireland) 2007 (FPS) and The New Firefighters- Pension Scheme Order (Northern Ireland) 2007 (NFPS).

Current Position

The DHSSPS made the New Firefighters- Pension Scheme (Amendment) (No 3) Order (Northern Ireland) 2015 on 9 October 2015 which will come into operation on 8 December 2015.  This Order amends the NFPS by revoking Article 61(6), see Annex 1 attached.

As a consequence of this Article being revoked, NIFRS can now enact The New Firefighters- Pension Scheme (Amendment) (No 2) Order (Northern Ireland) 2014 which changed the provision of pensionable pay to state that it related only to permanent emoluments of pay.  This effectively means that temporary promotions/secondments from 8 December 2015 can no longer be included in final pensionable pay, see Annex 2 attached.

Under the Amendment Order it is the discretion of the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS), as the employer, to determine whether payments for temporary promotion/secondments are to be pensionable and treated as an Additional Pension Benefit.

  1. The NIFRS Board at their meeting on 24 November 2015 agreed that:New periods of temporary promotions/secondments from 8 December 2015 continue for an interim period to be treated as pensionable, ie, treated as APB until 1 April 2016,  to enable time for consultation with representative bodies and ensure compliance with appropriate legislation;
  2. New promotions/secondments undertaken from 1 April 2016 are not treated as pensionable so that there is consistency ongoing forward across the 3 Pension Schemes.

How may you be affected in the future?

  •  From 8 December 2015, NFPS pensionable pay will only relate to permanent emoluments of pay, similar to the FPS at present.  This effectively will mean that new periods of temporary promotions, from 8 December 2015, will no longer be included in final pensionable pay calculations.
  •  FPS & NFPS new periods of temporary promotions/secondments from 8 December 2015 continue for an interim period to be treated as pensionable, ie, treated as APB until 1 April 2016.
  • New promotions/secondments in respect of the FPS, NFPS and CARE undertaken from 1 April 2016 will not be treated as pensionable moving forward.

 

Dale Ashford QFSM

Interim Chief Fire & Rescue Officer

 

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