The RFU has now been provided the Government’s proposals on pension reform within the Fire Service in England as contained within the ‘Heads of Agreement’ document.
This document has been produced after a number of group meetings and separate one-to-one meetings with fire service trade unions. The purpose of the document is to provide the basis of proposals with a view for further discussion.
The RFU has agreed that this document will be tabled before our Executive Officers who will decide whether the union agrees in principle with the proposals and continue discussions with the Government.
However, while this is a decision for the Executive Committee, we would welcome the views of local officials and members who will help to form the RFU’s stance on the matter.
In summary the proposals are that a new firefighters pension scheme:
The scheme proposes a Normal Pension Age (NPA) of 60, as is currently the case within the New Firefighters’ Pension Scheme (NFPS), therefore there is no change on this point
The scheme would be a Career Average Revalued Earnings (CARE) scheme rather than a final salary scheme. The statistics that are currently available confirm that specifically low earners (On-Call personnel) are likely to be better off under a CARE scheme rather than a final salary scheme
Contribution rates will be on average 13.2% compared with 8.5% in the NFPS. We question whether such a large increase in contribution rates is likely to deter On-Call personnel from joining the scheme. However, contribution rates are not included within the negotiation process.
Transitional protection for those who are within 10 years of retirement
Plus an additional 4 years of tapered protection
A commutation rate of 12:1 (£12 lump sum for every £1 per annual pension foregone)