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Firefighter 18/20 exercise

Thursday, 16 November 2017 14:12

The Scottish Government addressed the issue of Firefighters' Pension Scheme contributions paid in excess of 30 years' service before age 50 and the exercise to contact and refund any contributions for retired members was completed in April 2017.

The Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA), which administers Scotland's Firefighters' pension schemes, ensured that retired firefighters affected by this issue received any payments they were entitled to in full.


Following an agreement between the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) (now Home Office) and the Fire Brigades Unions in England and Wales an agreement was reached that firefighters are not required to pay the excess contributions between reaching the 30 year limit and their 50th birthday.   Scottish Ministers agreed that the settlement should also be applied in Scotland.

The agreement meant that eligible firefighters who retired after 1 December 2006 having accrued 30 years' service will be eligible to receive a refund of any employee contributions paid between the date they reached maximum service, and the day before they reached age 50. Where maximum service was reached prior to 1 December 2006, only contributions paid after that date and before age 50 are eligible to be refunded.  

In addition, active FPS 1992 members who had reached, or will reach, 30 years' service before age 50 were entitled to a "contributions holiday" and refund of any overpaid contributions.  Under the agreement, pension contributions become payable again from age 50.  Payments to active members were made by the Scottish Fire Rescue Service (SFRS) who will continue to monitor years of service and cease deduction of pension scheme contributions for active Firefighters' at the appropriate time.

For information a copy of the FAQs produced at the time the exercise was conducted is reproduced below.

If you have any queries regarding this issue, or you did not receive a letter and consider that you may be affected, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or contact the Police and Fire Team on 01896 893080.


Read more: Firefighter 18/20 exercise


Information on Pensions Increase 2017

Friday, 10 March 2017 14:15

Under the provisions of the Pensions (Increase) Act 1971, made in accordance with the Social Security Pensions Act 1975, the increase to be applied to public sector pensions is 1% and is payable from 10 April 2017.

If you became a pensioner after 25 April 2016 you will only receive a proportion of the annual percentage increase. You will receive your first full percentage increase next year.
Pension Increase is only paid from age 55 with some exceptions, if the pension is an Ill Health or  dependant’s pension.

Read more: Information on Pensions Increase 2017


Employment Tribunal - Transitional Pensions

Tuesday, 21 February 2017 10:21

Scottish Ministers note the decision of the Employment Tribunal, which determined that the age-related transitional protections included in the reform of the Firefighters' pension scheme were lawful. Subject to any further legal challenge the transitional protections introduced from April 2015 continue to apply.


Police and Firefighters Survivors' Pensions

The Scottish Government has announced a change to the pensions paid to the survivors of police officers and firefighters who are killed in the line of duty.

Although the 2006 and 2015 police and firefighter schemes allow for lifetime adult survivor pension awards, pensions paid to widows, widowers and civil partners under the 1987 Police and 1992 Firefighter pension scheme regulations are withdrawn on remarriage, registering for a civil partnership and in the case of the police scheme, cohabitation.

Read more: Police and Firefighters Survivors' Pensions


Pensions Ombudsman’s decision - Milne vs. the Government Actuary’s Department

The Scottish Government is aware that former fire-fighters and police officers who retired between December 2001 and late 2006 may be affected by the pensions Ombudsman's findings in Milne vs. the Government Actuary's Department.

The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that the people affected by this issue receive the payments they are entitled to in full and as soon as possible.

The Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA) which administers Scotland's Police and Firefighters' pension schemes has identified affected individuals and now has the necessary actuarial factors and guidance to calculate payments.

On 29th July the SPPA Chief Executive wrote to those affected by the Pensions Ombudsman's ruling to confirm that the Agency is aware of their case and is dealing with it. The Agency plans to write to them again by the end of August explaining the process for making the appropriate payment in their case.

This is a complex issue and it is essential that all issues are fully worked through to ensure that the proper payments are made. The Scottish Government expects payments to be made before the end of the year.


November 2015: Following the Pensions Ombudsman's recent Determination on the complaint brought by Mr W Milne it has been agreed that additional payments are to be made to scheme members whose pension commenced between:

Males:           1st December 2001 and 21st August 2006 (for Firefighters) or
                     1st December 2001 and 30th November 2006 (for Police)
Females:       1st December 2004 and 21st August 2006 (for Firefighters) or
                     1st December 2004 and 30th November 2006 (for Police)

and who chose to commute their pension for lump sum at retirement. This is to address the Ombudsman's conclusion that the scheme's commutation factors should have been reviewed before 2006.

The Milne Team are now finalising the redress calculations and payments will be made to the majority of retired scheme members along with their monthly pensions between 13th November and 1st December 2015. Advisory letters will be issued prior to payments being made.

Frequently asked questions

If you have any queries regarding the payment please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


October 2015: We have identified all individuals affected by the Ombudsman's decision and collated the data necessary to calculate the payments for retired scheme members. Calculations are underway and we aim to make the payments along with monthly pension payments before the end of the year.

A letter advising affected individuals of the amount due will be issued prior to the payments being made.


Further information

Frequently Asked Questions

The Pension Ombudsman published his final determination on the case Milne vs. the Government Actuary's Department (GAD) on 15th May 2015.

The Pension Ombudsman published an update on 24th August 2015 to set out his response to some recurring themes.

The Government Actuary's Department have published a Technical Bulletin concerning the Milne Case. This can be found on the GAD Website.

Guidance prepared by GAD for administrators is also now available and can be found via the following links:                                            Fire (Scotland)     Police (Scotland) 


Retained Firefighters Pension Settlement

Thursday, 29 May 2014 11:54

In September 2013, SPPA consulted on draft amendments to Firefighters' Pension schemes to provide retained firefighters employed in a Scottish fire and rescue authority between 1st July 2000 and 5th April 2006 with comparable pension rights to those enjoyed by regular firefighters during the same period.

The enabling legislation came into force on 23rd May 2014.  The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) will implement an options exercise to provide eligible retained firefighters affected with an opportunity to join the new pension arrangements in due course.

In the meantime, if you think that you may be eligible, please contact Lauren Newall or Iain Shaw at the SFRS.

Contact details

tel:     01294 606812
email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
tel:     01698 402273

Link to Scottish Government Website