The government has today published a heads of agreement for the firefighters’ pension scheme in England. This follows constructive engagement with representatives of all 4 firefighter unions.
The government pays tribute to the importance of the work undertaken by our fire and rescue service and the bravery, dedication and professionalism of the men and women who work in it. The government is committed to providing public service pensions that are sustainable, fair and effective.
Building on the proposals brought forward by Lord Hutton, these proposals aim to strike a balanced deal between public service workers and the taxpayer. They will ensure that public service workers continue to have access to good pensions, while taxpayers benefit from greater control over their costs.
The heads of agreement presents a fair and affordable long-term reform package that means firefighters will look to their future retirement with certainty and with a pension to reflect their valuable years of service.
Public sector pensions will remain among the very best available: a guaranteed level and inflation proofed. Only 1 in 10 private sector workers have access to such schemes.
This heads of agreement sets out the main elements of a scheme design that will form the basis for ongoing discussions about reforms to be introduced from 2015. Trades unions have agreed to take this package to their executives and, if appropriate, their membership for further consideration.
Further discussions on the remaining detail will take place over the coming weeks.