Retained Firefighter Pensions – Second Options Exercise

[Date added: 13/10/2023]

Did you work for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service as a retained (on call) firefighter at any point between 7 April 2000 and 5 April 2006?

We’re currently trying to trace several former retained firefighters for whom we don’t hold a current address. This is so we can give them the chance to take part in a pension options exercise, known as the Second Options Exercise. This exercise will allow in-scope firefighters to purchase service in a pension scheme comparable to the one that wholetime firefighters were able to join before 6 April 2006. This pension scheme is known as the 2006 Special or RDS Modified pension scheme. You can read more about the Second Options Exercise on the Firefighters' Pension Scheme website. 

If you, or someone you know, worked for us as a retained firefighter between the above dates, please contact them and ask them if they have received a letter from us about the exercise. If they haven’t heard from us, please ask them to get in touch so that we can assess whether they are in scope. They can email or call 01274 682311 and ask for the pensions team.

We’re aware that some current staff are eligible to take part in the Second Options Exercise. If this includes you, then you should have received a letter earlier this year confirming that you are in scope. You’ll receive a further letter before 31 December 2023 with a form to enable you to express your interest in taking part. Please contact the pensions team if you have any questions regarding this.

1992 Firefighter Pension Scheme – Contributions Holiday

The Home Office have agreed to settle a case brought by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) to provide a contributions holiday to those firefighters who were members of the 1992 firefighters pensions scheme, who joined the service before the age of 20, and who have served for over 30 years before reaching the minimum retirement age of 50. Following this decision, WYFRS have done some preliminary work to identify all those current and former employees who are affected by this decision. This decision has been applied retrospectively dating back to 1st December 2006. We have issued letters to those we have identified as being affected, however if you fit the criteria above and have not received a letter, please email The New State Pension and NI Charges 6th April 2016 will see the introduction of a new single tier state pension and the end of the “contracted out” status of the occupational pension schemes that are offered to employees by WYFRS, these include:

  • Firefighters Pension Scheme
  • New Firefighters Pension Scheme (NPFS)
  • Firefighters Pension Scheme 2015 (FPS 2015)
  • Retained Modified Pension Scheme (RDS Modified)
  • Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)

This is not something unique to WYFRS, this is happening to all contracted out pension schemes across the country. If you are a member of one of the pension schemes listed above, then this change may result in you paying increased National Insurance contributions from the 6th April 2016. This change will happen automatically, so you do not have to take any action. Please look at the Pension Q and A document to help explain why and how these changes are happening.