26/09/16 From NARF National Secretary Michael Halley - Pensions Holiday Issue
In case you haven’t picked anything up from other sources the pension holiday issue was formally resolved recently, when the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme (Amendment and Transitional Provisions) (England) Order 2016 No. 878 was laid in Parliament. It will come into force on 30 September 2016 and can be accessed via the following link: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/id/uksi/2016/878
In summary, this Order will introduce an employee contributions holiday for members of the 1992 Scheme who accrue the maximum 30 years’ pensionable service prior to age 50, and will apply from the point of accruing maximum service in the Scheme until the member’s 50th birthday. This change will be applied retrospectively to 1 December 2006. Any affected scheme members who continue in employment beyond their 50th birthday will have the option of either resuming paying contributions until retirement, or opting out of the pension scheme (at which point their pension will be deferred).The order applies to all scheme members regardless of rank.
There are a number of scheme members (and also NARF members) that will be affected by the retrospective application of the Order and will now become entitled to a refund of the contributions. These refund payments will be paid by the relevant Fire Authorities and will include interest. The Home Office will shortly be providing guidance on implementing this change and will provide the necessary funding to enable the payment of refunded contributions to scheme members.
It may be the case that your local Pensions Department are in the process of producing a list of all affected members and the length of qualifying service for a refund.
The Local Government Association (LGA) have advised Local Authorities that information from government will be forthcoming as well as a calculator to work out interest payments owed. The exact timescale is not available yet as they are still awaiting confirmation about the mechanics of payments / recharging etc .
It is likely that your Pensions Department first task will be to write to qualifying members informing them of the situation and then make the payments as soon as possible. Individual Branch Secretaries may wish to contact their local Pensions Department to get an update on how they intend to process this matter.
23/08/16 - Slices of the Division Street Pole
All the slices of the pole are now spoken for and I will publish the full amount of the money raised when I've collected it all in.
17/08/16 - Slices of the Division Street Pole
On the 1st August we offered for sale, by the way of donation to the Fire Fighters Charity, 11 slices of the former Division Street Fire Station Pole. So far we have sold 7 slices and raised an amazing £135. A big thank you goes to Andy Hopkinson, Steve Millthorpe, Chris Brown, Bernard Spellman, Tony Blackburn, Andy White and Steve Hunter for their generosity. Please use this link to view a copy of the letter from the Fire Fighters Charity.
We just have 4 slices left, but two are spoken for, so if you want a piece of the 'old place' please get in touch with Ted Mullins via firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone on 07580 926103.
10/08/16 - Night Out 22nd November Owlerton Stadium
We have been informed today that we have reached the 40 person limit for mass bookings at Owlerton Stadium.
ALL OF YOU, WHO HAVE REQUESTED TICKETS FROM ARTHUR LEVICK ARE BOOKED IN, HOWEVER, IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU SEND HIM YOUR MENU CHOICE(S) AND THE £17 PER PERSON BOOKED BY 31st AUGUST 2016.
Further ticket may become available but we cannot guarantee it. Thank you to all those who have responded already we hope you to see you on the 22nd.
04/08/16 STATE PENSION - JUST ONE IN THREE WORKERS WILL RECEIVE THE FULL £148 FLAT-RATE STATE PENSION
Just one in three workers will receive the full £148 flat-rate state pension between April 2016 and the end of March 2017 — far fewer than the Government first estimated. The latest Government figures imply 100,000 fewer than expected will get the maximum in the first ten years of the new deal. This includes an estimated 30,000 people who it was thought would qualify in the first year but will now get far less. In total, just - 222,000 of the roughly 600,000 people who will hit state pension age in the 12 months from April 2016 can claim the full amount.
Present retirees who were told everyone would get the flat-rate pension if they had paid their National Insurance contributions. Leading actuarial consultants have been quoted as saying 'Some politicians, who should have known better, said we would have a more generous and simpler flat-rate pension scheme. Clearly, the new deal is neither of those things, at least not in the early years. It is unfortunate this has not been properly explained and expectations have been raised that can't be fulfilled. Many of the people affected will be extremely disappointed. The fact is it will take ten or maybe even 20 years for things to even out and for most pensioners to receive the full flat-rate pension.’
The new state pension was unveiled as a way of ending the unfairness and complexity of the current system. The Government promised that anyone who had 35 years of National Insurance contributions would qualify for the full £148. And in 2013, Work and Pensions Secretary Ian Duncan Smith said: 'The single-tier pension will mean people have certainty in what they can expect from the State. Thirty-five years' worth of National Insurance contributions will mean a full basic state pension.'
However, Money Mail reported in May last year this would not be the case and hundreds of thousands would lose out. The problem generally affects employees, who, at some point in their working life, opted out of receiving extra benefits such as the state second pension. In exchange, they were allowed to pay a reduced rate of National Insurance. This was called contracting out. Typically, they had generous final salary pensions. However, some workers in stock market-linked company pensions were also encouraged to contract out. Now the Government has decided because they paid lower NI contributions and are likely to have built up extra pension elsewhere, they should lose some of their new state pension. Following the Money Mail probe, former pensions minister Steve Webb apologised and admitted only 42 % of those retiring in the first year of the flat-rate pension would get the full payment.
It has been estimated that only from 2018 would more than half of new pensioners receive the full amount. However, current pensions minister Baroness Ros Altmann has revealed this estimate was too high. The Money Mail have also seen Department for Work and Pensions figures which show just 37 % will be able to claim the full amount, meaning 30,000 more than it was first thought will not.
In the third year of the new state pension, the Government had estimated 52 % of savers would qualify for £148 a week. Now it says the figure will be just 46 %, meaning an extra 36,000 who retire from April 2018 will not get the higher rate. It is estimated that in total, between 2016 and 2026, 102,000 extra retirees will miss out.
There is some good news for those in their 50s, however. Initial estimates of those who would claim the full amount are too low and 10,000-15,000 a year more may now qualify. But by 2060, an estimated one in seven retiring that year still won't qualify for the full amount.
Experts said the miscalculation may be due to the fiendish complexity involved in working out who is entitled. Initially, it was thought the deduction for contracted-out years would only equal those in which the reduced rate of NI had been paid. So someone who worked 35 years but contracted out for five would be left with 30 years of full contributions. And someone who had contracted out for five years, but had 40 years of full-rate contributions, could still claim the full amount. But it has emerged this is not the case. Instead, the Government is assuming a certain amount of pension has been built up with the money that would have paid the extra NI contribution. It is then using a set of assumptions to deduct this from the full state pension. Many in their early 60s have found they will get far less than expected. Some have the 35 full years of NI contributions but face deductions to their state pension despite contracting out only briefly. The DWP seems to be assuming that if someone contracted out, they did so for the rest of their career. It says those who contracted out benefited from lower NI payments and could make provision for their retirement elsewhere. Following extensive research by the investment firm Hargreaves Lansdown, it has been found that the link between the National Insurance contributions people pay into the system and their impact on the new flat-rate state pension entitlement appears to be very tenuous.
A DWP spokesman is reported as saying: 'We revise these figures each year to reflect latest assumptions. However, what people get from their state pension does not give the full picture. People who spent time contracted-out either paid NI contributions at a lower rate, or some of the NI contributions they paid were used to contribute to a private pension, which they will also benefit from when they retire. Both state and private pensions need to be taken into account.'
Information researched by T. Mullins from an article in the Mercury Newspaper.
02/08/16 -Message re Night Out at the Dog Track 22nd November
I have been asked to give a reminder to all those who said they were coming to social night that your money and menu requirements are needed before the end of August.
Arthur Levick who is organising the function has paid out £340 to secure the booking but he has had limited response back now that money is required.
Please help him to make this night a success by letting him know if you are still coming, or not. And if you are coming please choose your meal(s) and let Arthur have the deposit by the end of August.
01/08/16 - Slices of the Division Street Pole for Sale
Hurry, there are only three pieces left, and so far, thanks to Andy Hopkinson, Steve Millthorpe, Chris Brown, Bernard Spellman, Tony Blackburn Andy White, and Steve Hunter we have raised, to date, £135 for the Fire Fighters Charity.
To get your hands on one of the last pieces contact Ted Mullins on email@example.com or text 07580 926103.
Steve asked me to provide a provenance letter to go with the slices so if you use this >link< it should take you straight to a copy.
Valediction – Retired Fireman Derek Cyril Crutwell
It is with regret that we have to inform you of the death of retired Fireman Derek Cyril Crutwell, aged 73 years, on 4 July 2016
Derek was a member of the Barnsley and Doncaster Branch of NARF, and served at Doncaster Fire Station before retiring in1998.
Our thoughts are with Derek’s family, and close friends at this sad time.
The service will be held at Rose Hill Crematorium, Cantley Lane, Cantley, Doncaster, DN4 6NE on Monday 25 July 2016 at 12:00 hrs and afterwards at the Bentley West End WMC Cusworth Road, Doncaster. DN5 9RF.
Family flowers only have been requested with donations to the British Heart Foundation.
The family would welcome anyone wishing to attend.
All enquiries,bookings and deposits to Arthur Levick firstname.lastname@example.org by end of August 2016.
Owlerton Christmas Menu 2016 – From £17 per person
(Price includes admission and Race card)
Roasted tomato soup with basil
Course Duck & peppercorn paté
Prawn and crayfish cocktail
Smoked salmon & dill mayonnaise
Salad of charred halloumi and watermelon
Pitta croute, sweet chilli & mint
Roast turkey with all the festive trimmings
Char grilled medallions of fillet steak, creamy champ potatoes, shallot & Henderson’s jus
Braised shank of lamb, root vegetable mash, red wine & rosemary sauce
Escalope of salmon on ratatouille vegetables, seared lemon & chive dressing
Goats cheese & wild mushroom tartlet, roasted butternut squash purée, herb velouté
A selection of vegetables and potatoes
Christmas pudding with rum sauce
Double chocolate brownie, salted caramel ice cream and chocolate sauce
Warm pear and almond Bakewell tart, crystallised ginger mascarpone cream
Tea £2.00 or Coffee £2.50
All food is prepared in a kitchen where nuts, cereals containing gluten & other allergens are present and our menu descriptions do not include all ingredients. Please advise our staff if you have a food allergy or intolerance before ordering. Full allergen information is available upon request.
Menu choices may be subject to change without prior notice.
14/07/16 VALEDICTION – Retired Fireman Mr Brian Buxton.
It is with regret that we have to inform you of the death of retired Fireman Mr Brian Buxton, aged 81 years, on Sunday 10 July 2016.
Mr Buxton commenced his career with the Fire Service in July 1963 and served on White Watch at Division Street Sheffield prior retiring due to injury in May 1977.
Our thoughts are with Brian’s family, and close friends at this sad time.
The service will be held at City Road Crematorium, City Road, Sheffield S2 1GD on Thursday, 21 July 2016 at 1100 hours.
Family flowers only and donations if desired, may be made to Macmillan Palliative Care Unit, Northern General Hospital, Herries Road, Sheffield S5 7AU.
The family would welcome anyone wishing to attend.
04/07/16 Valediction – Former Chief Fire Officer Jeff Ord CBE QFSM
It is with deep regret that we have to inform you of the death of former Chief Fire Officer Jeff Ord CBE QFSM, who passed away peacefully in his sleep aged 67, on 23 June 2016 in Abu Dhabi.
Our thoughts are with Jeff's family at this sad time.
He served as Chief Fire Officer from 1996 until 1999, and then as the CFO of Strathclyde Fire Service, and HMI for Scotland up until his retirement.
The service will be on Friday 8 July 2016 at 2:30pm at All Saints Church, Church Lane, Cawthorne, S75 4HQ, followed by a private interment.
Family flowers only have been requested with charitable donations to be shared equally between All Saints Church and Bluebell Children’s Hospice, Sheffield.
Refreshments will be available afterwards in the Spencer Arms Public House, 21 Church Street, Cawthorne, Barnsley S75 4HL.
01/07/16 Valediction – Retired Firefighter Robert (Bob) Charles Darlow
It is with regret that the Service has informed us of the death of retired Fire Fighter Bob Darlow aged 71 years, on Friday 17 June 2016.
Bob served as a Firefighter from March 1969 at both Darnall and Ringinglow Fire Stations before retiring in April 1994.
The service will be held at Hutcliffe Wood Crematorium, Hutcliffe Wood Road, Sheffield S8 0HN on Tuesday, 5 July 2016 at 1445 hours.
Flowers welcome and details of donations are to be confirmed on the day.
The family would welcome anyone wishing to attend.
03/06/16 - Retired Sub Officer Terry Perkins - Funeral Arrangements
Terry's Funeral will be held on Tuesday 14th June, 1:15pm - Grenoside Crematorium, 5 Skew Hill Lane, Sheffield, S35 8RZ
Family flowers only and any donations should be made to the Barnardo's Children's Charity.
Terry served at Division Street and Rivelin Valley fire stations before retiring in August 1990.
Prior to arriving at the crematorium, the funeral cars will drive past Rivelin Fire Station. The family would be delighted if the on duty watch could acknowledge Terry's passing, as this was his last home station.
Afterwards, you are invited to join family and friends at The Three Merry Lads, 610 Redmires Road, Lodge Moor, Sheffield, S10 4LJ for a celebration of Terry’s life.
Anyone wishing to attend is requested not to wear a black tie.
02/06/16 - NPC, Class Action for Mobility Scooter Owners
Did you buy a Pride mobility scooter in 2010 - 2012? The National Pensioners convention is bringing a class legal claim against Pride Mobility Products Ltd - Please use this link to download the full details.
29/05/16 - Terry Perkins
It is with great sadness that we have to inform you that yesterday (28th May) Terry Perkins passed away. Our thoughts are with Terry's family.
More details will follow when they become available.
27/05/16 - Valediction Peter Appleyard
It is with regret that the Service has informed us of the death of retired Firefighter Peter Appleyard aged 61 years, on 24 May 2016.
Peter joined the Fire Service in 1974 serving at Rivelin Valley Fire Station up until 1993 and then from 2006 as a Extinguisher Maintenance Technician before retiring in September 2013.
The service will be held at Grenoside Crematorium, 5 Skew Hill Lane, S35 8RZ on Monday 6 June 2016 at 2.00pm, followed by drinks to celebrate Peter’s life at The Cock Inn, Oughtibridge, 5 Bridge Hill, S35 0FL.
The family would welcome anyone wishing to attend.
26/05/16 - Peter Appleyard
It is with great sadness that we have to inform you of the recent death of Peter Appleyard. More details will follow when they become available.
05/05/16 - NARF National Council Meeting and AGM
The minutes of the NARF National Council Meeting 16 April 2016, and NARF National AGM 17 April 2016, are now available for download from our National Meetings and Documents Page.
22/04/16 -Emergency Services Show
22/04/16 - Functions and Excursions
Any NARF Sheffield and Rotherham members who are interested in going out on group events are asked to make contact with Arthur Levick email@example.com and give him their contact details. This will allow Arthur to create a list of members who may be interested in group bookings, and enable him to make direct contact with them when short notice bookings for events become available.
14/04/16 - Pensions 18 to 20 Club
Recently the FBU has won a legal case that means certain retirees maybe entitled to up to two years of pension contributions to be returned to them. In order to qualify they must have joined between the age of 18 and 20 and retired after December 2006. You are advised to contact your local FBU brigade committee if this ruling applies to you, as the FBU are not sure that a robust system is in place to pick up all possible claimants.
14/04/16 - Copy of Email Message from NARF General Secretary to all Council Members, and all District and Branch Secretaries:
"Please find attached a copy a letter received from the Home Office to a request by NARF for the Government to examine the above Pension Scheme.
It is important that this document is circulated to your members as a matter of URGENCY. Comments on the content of the letter and the consultation document should be returned to me by 30th April so that COUNCIL can formulate a response before the deadline of 13th May.
Although the document is dated 24th March, I did not receive it until after I had gone away on holiday on 30th March, hence the delay in circulation
Regards, Michael Halley, General Secretary
Please send any comments to Michael Halley at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fire Fighters Charity Prize Draw 17 March 2016
01/04/16 - Sheffield and Rotherham Retired Firefighters Meeting
Please be reminded that our AGM and Ordinary Meeting will be held at the Showroom and Workstation Paternoster Row, Sheffield on the 18th April 2016, commencing at 7:30 pm.
24/03/16 - Police and firefighters’ cases – March 2016
Please find a link below to the statement by the Pension Ombudsman relating to the back payment of pensions which may be of interest to you.
21/03/16 - Pension Update
The Office of National Statistics previously released the Consumer Price Index for September 2015 which showed a fall of 0.1%. This outcome will probably mean that there will be no increase to Fire Service Pensions this April.
Full details can be found on the ONS website at: ONS
The above information should be read in conjunction with the highlighted section of the NPC's Budget Briefing released earlier this month.
However, we will keep you updated when official confirmation is forthcoming.
20/03/16 In Memory of Dave Morris - Reply from Prostrate Cancer UK.
05/03/16 Valediction – Former Personnel Officer Mrs Barbara Curtis (Culf)
It is with regret that we have to inform you of the death of former Personnel Officer Mrs Barbara Curtis (Culf) who passed away suddenly on Tuesday 1 March 2016.
Our thoughts are with Barbara's family at this sad time.
26/02/16 Dave Morris - Funeral Arrangements
From Daz Morris via Facebook
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Fire Brigade community. I promised to give an update for the funeral arrangements for my Dad, Dave, (David) Morris. There will be an announcement in the Sheffield Star on Monday 29th Feb, but the advanced warning is that we have booked a date and time at City Road Cemetery, for 09:45 Thursday 3rd March. Afterwards there will be a get together where we can chat and remember him at the Noah's Ark, Intake; lunch provided.
18/02/16 Valediction Ex Leading Firefighter David Morris
It is with great sadness that we have to inform you that Dave Morris passed away on the evening of 17 Feb. Dave had been suffering with illness for the last year and has become very poorly in the last few weeks.
Our thoughts are with Doreen and the rest of his family.
We will keep you informed when more information becomes available.
17/02/16 Welfare: Dave Beaumont - Update from Jude Atkin (Dave's Daughter)
Jude informs us that things have started to look up for Dave, he's quite chirpy although he struggles for breath as he has COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). He still keeps the nurses laughing with his terrible jokes though. Jude will try and keep us all up to date, although she'll be going back to Norfolk at the weekend. The hospital are talking about him having some physio to get him up and moving again soon so fingers crossed.
16/02/16 - Welfare: Dave Beaumont
Dave's daughter Jude Atkin has been in touch with us to let us know that Dave is in Rotherham District General Hospital.
Dave is on the stroke unit on Montgomery Ward, However, he has not had a stroke but was at very high risk of having one when he first went in.
If anyone would like further details please contact us via email@example.com and we will try to find out more information.
02/02/16 - Message from the NARF General Secretary, Michael Halley
Please use this >link< to download details of the Fire Fighters Memorial Trust. This is an organisation that he feels would benefit from greater support.
29/01/16 - Message from Mrs Ann Horsfield
Ann has asked us to convey her thanks to the all retired firefighters, and serving firefighters who attended Colin's funeral yesterday. She was overwhelmed by the response from those who came to pay their respects to Colin on the day.
22/01/16 Full Funeral Arrangements for Retired Sub Officer Colin Horsfield
We now have further information from SYFR regarding Colin's funeral arrangements,
Colin commenced his career with the Fire Service in October 1962, where he served at Division Street, Rivelin and Ringinglow stations until his retirement in May 1993.
The funeral service will take place at 10:30 hours on Thursday 28 January 2015 at Hutcliffe Wood Crematorium, Camping Lane, Sheffield S8 0HN.
The family will welcome anyone wishing to attend.
Family flowers only please, but donations if desired may be made to Cavendish Cancer Care.
14/01/16 - Valediction - Colin Horsfield
It is with great sadness that we have to inform you that Colin Horsfield passed away at 1:00 am this morning in the Northern General Hospital after a long battle with illness.
Our thoughts are with his wife Ann, and the rest of his family at this very sad time.
We will update you with the funeral arrangements when they have been made.
Reminder - NARF Sheffield and Rotherham Branch Meeting
The next meeting of the NARF Sheffield and Rotherham branch will be held at the Showroom and Workstation, Paternoster Row, Sheffield, at 7:30 pm on Monday, 18th January 2016.