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Fire and Rescue Authorities: Funding for Pension Redress Payments

Volume 605: debated on Tuesday 26 January 2016

In May 2015, the pensions ombudsman issued his final determination in a case brought by a retired Scottish firefighter against the Government Actuary’s Department. This found that the Government Actuary’s Department failed to review the factors used in the calculation of the firefighter’s lump sum pension payment at the appropriate time, and that this amounted to maladministration. The Government determined that the principles of this ruling should be applied to other affected individuals across the UK, including around 6,000 retired firefighters in England.

Ministerial responsibility for fire and rescue policy transferred to the Home Office on 5 January 2016. The Permanent Secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government remains the accounting officer for fire budgets until 31 March 2016, and budgets remain with the Department for Communities and Local Government until then. From 1 April 2016 remaining responsibilities for fire budgets and administrative responsibilities will transfer to the Home Office.

Parliamentary approval for additional capital of £94 million will be sought in a supplementary estimate for the Department for Communities and Local Government. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £94 million will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.