Firefighters Pension Schemes -background - Commons Library Standard Note

Published 15 August 2013 | Standard notes SN03260

Amended 28 July 2014

Authors: Djuna Thurley

Topic: Fire services, Pensions

Following consultation on reforms starting in 2004, the Labour Government introduced a New Firefighters’ Pension Scheme (NFPS) for new entrants from April 2006. More limited amendments were made to the existing scheme - Firefighters’ Pension Scheme 1992 (FPS). Key differences between the two schemes are that:

• FPS has a normal pension age of 55 (50 with 25 or more years’ service). The NPFS has a normal pension age of 60.

• The NFPS has a single accrual rate (1/60th) whereas in the FPS benefits accrue at 1/60th for the first 20 years service and 1/30th for up to 10 years thereafter.

• Contribution rates for employees and employers are higher in the FPS than the NFPS.

Ill-health pensions were also reformed, with the aim of reducing the rate (and therefore the cost) of retirement on ill-health grounds. Two-tier ill-health pension arrangements were introduced in both schemes, with a lower tier payable where the member is capable of regular employment other than as a firefighter and a higher tier award where the member is not so capable.

This note focuses on reforms to firefighters’ pensions introduced by the Labour Government. A separate note - SN 6585 – covers the current reforms.

Share this page

Contact information

The House of Commons Library provides research, analysis and information services for MPs and their staff.

If you have any comments on briefings from the Commons Library, please contact

Please note, authors are not available to discuss the contents of papers with members of the general public. 

TwitterFollow House of Commons Library on Twitter

The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.

Email with comments on Lords Library Notes.

Please note that authors are not available to discuss the contents of Library Notes with members of the general public.

POST produces independent, balanced and accessible briefings on public policy issues related to science and technology. You can leave feedback at