Marina Fraser-Ryan (Delivery Lead – People Relations) introduced the report which outlined proposed changes to the Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service (WFRS) Re-engagement Following Retirement Service Order. This document set out the policy on abatement of pensions when scheme members were re-engaged (either by a fire and rescue authority or another public sector body) following retirement. She advised that the Pensions Ombudsman had recommended that changes be made. Accordingly, amendments had been made to the policy for abatement from a blanket approach to one which allowed for case-by-case consideration of the member’s circumstances and any representations from the member prior to deciding whether to apply abatement or, where it was appropriate, to resolve that abatement should not be applied.
Marina Fraser-Ryan highlighted that there was no specific guidance on the criteria which should be considered when making the decision on whether to abate an individual's pension because of re-employment. Decisions would need to take account of the general principle of abatement, i.e., to protect the public purse. In such cases, WFRS would be responsible for the cost of deciding not to abate. She sought the Committee’s approval for the proposed changes.
Councillor Gifford stated that it was sensible to follow the guidance of the Pensions Ombudsman. He moved that the recommendation be accepted and was seconded by Councillor Millar. This was supported unanimously by the Committee.
That the Staff and Pensions Committee approves the amendments to the name and content of the WFRS Re-engagement Following Retirement Service Order as outlined within the body of the report and in Appendix 2.