How to increase your firefighters' pension

If you're an active member of any of the Scottish firefighters' pension schemes, you have the option to increase the amount of pension you'll receive in retirement by choosing to make additional contributions to your scheme. In all cases, you may wish to seek advice from a qualified financial advisor before committing to make additional contributions to your scheme.

Firefighters' Pension Scheme 2015

As well as making your regular contributions to your firefighters' pension, you can buy Additional Pension to increase the amount you'll receive in retirement.

Additional Pension covers an increase in pension for yourself AND for any pension payable to your dependants (spouse, partner or dependent children) after your death.

You can only buy Additional Pension if you’re an actively contributing member of either the Firefighters' Pension Scheme 2015 and haven’t reached your normal pension age.

The cost of purchasing Additional Pension depends on:

  • your age at the date of your election
  • the amount you wish to purchase
  • whether you’re paying by lump sum or regular contributions

Try our Firefighters' Additional Pension calculator to see how much you would pay

Maximum purchase amounts

Additional Pension can be bought in amounts of annual pension of £250 up to a current maximum of £6500. This maximum amount is index linked and may change in the future.

If you choose to take out more than one contract, we’ll take into account the value of all of your contracts to ensure you don’t exceed the maximum allowable amount. Tax relief is given at source on regular contributions and can be reclaimed from HMRC if you pay by lump sum.

Lump sum payments

An election to buy Additional Pension with a lump sum payment must be made within 12 months of the date on which you become employed as a firefighter.

Regular contributions

You can make regular payments from your salary through the PAYE system and you'll receive tax relief each time a payment is made.

You have to commit to paying the regular Additional Pension contributions for at least one year and the contract must finish before you reach your normal pension age.

It’s your responsibility to ensure your employer is deducting the correct amount from your salary. If you identify an error, you should contact them immediately.

Retirement options that affect Additional Pension

There are a number of circumstances that affect the amount of Additional Pension payable to you. If you chose to receive your pension early, your Additional Pension will be reduced as it is being paid earlier.

If you continue to work beyond your normal pension age, your Additional Pension will be increased to reflect the later than expected payment.

Benefits payable on death

If you've been paying Additional Pension contributions for 12 months your dependants would receive survivor benefits. For example a spouse would receive 50% of what you would have received. The dependant's pension would be paid in full, even if you haven't completed all the payments, as long as you were in good health when the contract was taken out.

How to apply

When you use our Additional Pension calculator it will create your estimate and produce a printable application form. If you'd like a formal quote please sign the completed application form and return it to SPPA. We'll then check the figures and either make arrangements to collect your lump sum or forward the details to your payroll department so they can start taking deductions.

New Firefighters' Pension Scheme 2006

In the NFPS 2006, if you're unable to build up 40 years of pensionable service and you still have at least 2 years until your normal pension age, you can purchase ‘Added Years’ either by paying a lump sum or increasing your monthly contributions.

Regular contributions for your increased benefits are calculated as a percentage of your salary and are deducted from your pay before tax. They're also based on your chosen retirement date provided it is between your 55th birthday and the compulsory retirement age for your rank.

If you serve part-time, you can either buy Added Years on a full-time or part-time basis.

Any increased benefits you purchase will count when determining your level of NFPS pension payable to you or your survivors, but won't qualify you for any other type of award or enhancement.

If you retire before your planned retirement date, or if you leave Scottish Fire and Rescue service, you'll be credited with an appropriate proportion of the increased benefits you were purchasing.

If you die or retire on ill-health grounds you'll be credited with the total Added Years you elected to buy.

To find out more about the cost of buying Added Years, please contact us.

Firefighters' Pension Scheme 1992

In FPS 1992, if you're unable to build up 30 years of pensionable service and you still have at least 2 years until your normal pension age of 55, you can purchase ‘Added Years’ either by paying a lump sum or increasing your monthly contributions.

Regular contributions for your increased benefits are calculated as a percentage of your salary and are deducted from your pay before tax. They're also based on your chosen retirement date or your 55th birthday - whichever is later.

If you serve part-time, you can either buy Added Years on a full-time or part-time basis.

If you retire before your planned retirement date, or if you leave Scottish Fire and Rescue service, you'll be credited with an appropriate proportion of the increased benefits you were purchasing.

If you die or retire on ill-health grounds you'll be credited with the total Added Years you elected to buy.

To find out more about the cost of buying Added Years, please contact us.

Annual Allowance

In all cases, if the growth in your benefits exceeds the Annual Allowance limit, you may be subject to a tax charge. Given the potential tax implications, you should seek professional financial advice if you’re planning to make a lump sum payment to purchase Additional Pension. You’ll find more information on the Annual Allowance here.

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