As part of the 'Hands off Our Pensions' campaign the FBU has been pressing the Department for Communities and Local Government on the issue of RDS members gaining access to the 'Modified' pension scheme. This scheme should represent the remedy to the FBU's legal victory and as such the union is extremely keen to ensure that eligible members are able to gain access to its benefits as soon as possible.
Over recent months the FBU has continually pressed to ensure that this issue is progressed as quickly as possible and shared the anger and frustration of many members in the unacceptable delays that have occurred. The union has recently threatened further legal action should the delay continue and also raised the issue directly with the Fire Minister.
In addition to this the FBU has highlighted to members that the Westminster government's pension proposals will also affect the 'Modified' scheme meaning that members will also be faced with the prospect of 'Paying more, Working longer and Getting Less'.
A recent letter to the FBU from the Fire Minister gave an assurance that draft scheme legislation would be sent to the union in the early part of September for comments before formal consultation commenced. On 9 September an email was sent to the FBU containing an Emerging draft RDS Modification Order paper.
This is a confidential working paper provided on a without prejudice basis and with a caveat that it is highly likely to be subject to further amendments following comments from Treasury Counsel and GAD (it was copied to the FBU at the same time as it was sent to these).
The FBU and its legal team will now be looking at this draft order and arranging a meeting with CLG officials to progress the matter as swiftly as possible.
FBU members will be kept updated on any developments via circulars and through the FBU website.
Yours in Unity,