In this area of the website we explain what happens if you leave the scheme before you retire.
When working how much service you have built up, remember to include any membership you have earned in the Firefighters' Pension Scheme (Fire 1992) or the New Firefighters' Pension Scheme (Fire 2006).
If you have transferred in benefits from a previous scheme you will automatically be treated as having completed more than two years’ service.
If you leave the scheme within the first three months of joining, your only option will be to take a refund of contributions, less deductions. You will no benefits remaining in the scheme.
Once you have been in the scheme for at least three months, your benefits will remain in the scheme as deferred benefits and will be revalued every year in line with CPI increases until you retire. Your normal retirement age will now be your State Pension age.
You will not be offered a refund of your contributions but you will be able to transfer your benefits to another scheme, for example if you join an authority in another part of the UK. Special terms are available.
You are not able to transfer pension benefits to any private sector defined contribution (DC) scheme offering the flexible benefits introduced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in his March 2014 Budget.
You are only able to pay into the Fire 2015 while you are working as a firefighter in Scotland. If you move to an authority in another part of the UK you will need to join the scheme offered by that country.
If you have been a member of the Fire 2015 scheme for at least two years your benefits will be revalued in line with the Consumer Prices Index and your normal retirement age will be your State Pension age. You will need to transfer these benefits to your new scheme if you wish to maintain a normal retirement age of 60 for these benefits.
While membership of the scheme it is not compulsory and once you have been enrolled you can choose to opt out at any time by completing an Opt out form, although you will be missing out on valuable benefits.
If you do decide the leave the scheme, your benefits will be treated in the same way as if you had left service.
From May 2017, if you continue to meet certain conditions, your employer will automatically re-enrol you back into the scheme in every three years. You can re-join the scheme at any time by contacting your employer.
Advice can be sought from an independent financial adviser or your professional association if you are unsure what you should do.
It’s important to note that if you take a career break, or opt out, you must return to the scheme within five years if your pension is to be revalued in line with changes to the annual change in national average earnings over the previous year.
If you do not return within five years, it will be revalued in line with the Consumer Prices Index.
If you take a career break you must return within five years in order to maintain the link to your final pensionable pay for benefits earned in that scheme.
If you have full or tapered protection you will return to your original scheme (if your tapered protection has not expired) only if you return within five years.