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Changes to the Firefighters' Pension Scheme from April 2015

As you may be aware, new pension arrangements are to be introduced for public sector schemes from April 2015.

The main features of the new Firefighters' Pension Scheme design in Scotland from 2015 have been set out within the Scheme. Key stakeholders continue to consider this offer but to help members understand what the offer means details are being provided below.

A number of frequently asked questions (FAQs) have also been produced to aid understanding of these changes are available below.

 

Latest Position on 2015 Communications

Communications products being developed between now and December. Consultation and agreement on all products with tri-partite groups will take place in January 2015 and thereafter will begin distributing these to members / employers from February 2015 onwards. 

In March 2011, Lord Hutton published his final conclusions on public service pensions reform. The framework outlined in Lord Hutton's report was ultimately outlined in the UK Government's Public Service Pensions Act 2013 which requires that new reformed public sector schemes (which include police pensions) must be introduced from 1st April 2015. Occupational pensions policy is a matter reserved to the UK Government so the requirements of that Act must be applied to the schemes in Scotland.

In March 2012 Roseanna Cunningham, Minister for Community Safety commenced partnership negotiations to design a reformed Firefighter Pension Scheme for 2015. Those negotiations are required to deliver a new scheme that remained within the set financial cost limits and was a Career Average Revalued Earnings Scheme (CARE). Additionally the UK Government's Public Service Pensions Act also requires the scheme to have a normal pension age of 60.

The scheme design sets out two areas where Scottish Ministers have been able to deliver an improvement on the initial starting proposal – full protection for those within ten years of retiring on a full pension, and enhanced early retirement options from age 55 for all members of the new
scheme.

The scheme provides the best possible solution for Scottish firefighters, within the limitations of the current devolved settlement. This has been achieved by the Scottish Government working  through partnership negotiations with firefighter stakeholders. Should further progress on other aspects be made in negotiations at a UK level, Scottish Ministers will of course ensure that Scottish firefighters also receive the benefit of any national-level changes.

More information will be added to these pages in due course.

Please do not attempt to contact SPPA currently as we are unable to provide any further clarification at this time to what has already been published above.

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Link to Scottish Government Website