The deal primarily affects members of the Custody Scheme, firefighters who are not employed as full-time firefighters but who, unlike volunteers, are paid to be on call for long periods.
There were around 18,000 retained firefighters in the UK in 2021, covering 60% of the country.
A lawsuit was brought in 2006 claiming that retained firefighters were treated less favorably than full-time firefighters by being denied access to a fair pension, in breach of the Part-Time Workers Regulations 2000 ( prevention of less favorable treatments). .
The government has gotten it wrong time and time again when it comes to pensions, and we will continue to fight for justice for all of our members.
The modified section of the new firefighters pension plan was finally opened to firefighters retained for service between July 1, 2000 and April 5, 2006, from which date membership was open anyway.
The amended plan (2006) is a final salary arrangement designed to provide benefits comparable to the 1992 and 2006 iterations of the firefighters’ pension plan. Although it is technically an “add-on” to the 2006 FPS, many of its benefits – and its retirement age – mirror the benefits that would have been available under the 1992 scheme had it been opened. retained firefighters.
Option exercise not performed
There was to be an exercise of options, with participants being informed in 2014-2015 of the benefits they could expect to receive if they chose to become members and the contribution rates they should receive.
It was later discovered that at least one fire authority had not completed this process.
However, further complaints were raised that the exercise of the options only included services dating back to July 2000, with legal uncertainty remaining as to the possibility of including services prior to that date, which has led to the suspension of a number of appeals before the labor courts until legal clarity is established. provided.
The case was later resolved in November 2018, allowing service since commencement of employment to be considered for claims under the Part-Time Worker Settlement, and the FBU has been in talks with the government ever since. on how to resolve outstanding amounts withheld. job applications for firefighters.
A second exercise of options has been deemed the appropriate course of action and will apply to those whose relevant service commenced between April 7, 2000 and April 5, 2006, whether the member in question has made a claim in court at job or declined the offer. performed during the first exercise of options.
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The memorandum of understanding between the government and the FBU was made public on February 14, with the second exercise of options due to begin after the necessary legislation is passed, which is expected to take 18 months.
Mark Rowe, the FBU National Officer, said: “This is very good news for the retained firefighters who will now have the option of having previous employment as a retained firefighter for their pension, under the conditions of the second exercise option of the memorandum of understanding.
“Some successful firefighters were losing before, so we are delighted to successfully conclude these negotiations for our members. The government has gotten it wrong time and time again when it comes to pensions, and we will continue to fight for justice for all of our members.