Firefighters' Pension Scheme

This Notice is for members (and beneficiaries) of the Avon Fire Authority Firefighters’ Pension Schemes (the "Schemes").  It has been prepared by Avon Fire Authority (the "AFA") in its capacity as the manager of the Scheme (the "Scheme Manager") and the Data Controller. This notice applies to all of the following schemes:

  • Firefighters’ Pension Scheme 1992;
  • Firefighters’ Pension Scheme 2006;
  • Firefighters’ Pension Scheme 2015; and
  • Modified Firefighters’ Pension Scheme.

The categories of the information that we collect, process, hold and share include:

  • Contact details, including name, address, telephone numbers and email address;
  • Identifying details, including date of birth, national insurance number and employee and membership numbers;
  • Information that is used to calculate and assess eligibility for benefits, for example, length of service or membership and salary information;
  • Financial information relevant to the calculation or payment of benefits, for example, bank account and tax details;
  • Information about your family, dependents or personal circumstances, for example, marital status and information relevant to the distribution and allocation of benefits payable on death;
  • Information about your health, for example, to assess eligibility for benefits payable on ill health, or where your health is relevant to a claim for benefits following the death of a member of the Scheme; and
  • Information about a criminal conviction where this may result in pension forfeiture.

Why we collect and use this information

The AFA holds personal data about you in its capacity as Data Controller for the proper handling of all matters relating to the Scheme, including its administration and management. This includes the need to process your data to:

  • Contact you;
  • To calculate, secure and pay your benefits;
  • For statistical and financial modelling (for example, when we assess how much money is needed to provide members' benefits);
  • For reference purposes (for example, when we assess how much money is needed to provide members benefits and to inform the Government of any additional funding requirements);
  • To manage liabilities and administer the Schemes generally;
  • Assess eligibility for, calculate and provide you (and, if you are a member of the Scheme, your beneficiaries upon your death) with benefits;
  • To identify your potential or actual benefit options and, where relevant, implement those options;
  • To comply with our legal and regulatory obligations as Scheme Manager; and
  • To address queries from members and other beneficiaries and to respond to any actual or potential disputes concerning the Scheme.

The lawful basis on which we use this information

Under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA), we can only process personal data if we have a lawful basis for doing so. The lawful basis for performing the above activities is when:

  1. we need to process your personal data to satisfy our legal obligations as Scheme Manager under the Superannuation Act 1972 and the Pensions Act 2014; and
  2. because we need to process your personal data to meet our contractual obligations to you in relation to the Scheme or to take steps, at your request, before entering into a contract.

Where we obtain information concerning certain special categories of particularly sensitive data, such as health information, extra protections apply under the data protection legislation. We will only process this type of data with your consent, unless we can lawfully do so for another reason permitted by legislation, for example, The Data Protection Act 2018 permits us to process special categories/sensitive personal information for the purposes of ‘performing or exercising obligations in connection with employment, social security or social protection’ (Paragraph 1(1) (a) of Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 2018).

Collecting this information

We obtain some of this personal data directly from you. We may also obtain data (for example, salary information) from your current or past employer(s), from a member of the Scheme (where you are or could be a beneficiary of the Scheme as a consequence of that person's membership of the Scheme) and from a variety of other sources including public databases (such as the Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages), our advisers and government or regulatory bodies, including those in the list of organisations that we may share your personal data with, as set out below. Where you have provided us with personal data about other individuals, such as family members, dependants or potential beneficiaries under the Scheme, please ensure that you make these individuals aware of the information contained within this Privacy Notice.

Storing this information

We will only keep your personal information for as long as we are required to fulfil the purpose of providing your pension entitlement under the Scheme until it ceases (either to you or your beneficiary).  Electronic pensions data is currently retained indefinitely when those benefits stop being paid in order that the Fund can deal with any questions or complaints arising from your pension; for Scheme administration purposes; to comply with legal and regulatory requirements; and to assess the longevity of Fund members and therefore contribute to broader research on the Fire Fighter pensioner longevity. Your personal data may also need to be retained where you have received a transfer, or refund, from the Scheme in respect of your benefit entitlement, for the above reasons.

Who we share this information with and why

Avon Pension Fund (APF) (which is managed by Bath & North East Somerset Council (BANES)) has been appointed to administer the Schemes on behalf of the Avon Fire Authority (AFA); acting as a Data Processor in the capacity that the information passed to them is for the specific processing purposes of administering the Schemes. APF and AFA may share data with the following third party organisations where we have a legal or contractual obligation or a legitimate interest to do so:

  • Tracing bureaus for mortality screening and locating members - currently Lexis Nexis, Accurate Data Services, ATMOS (UK mortality screening) and Western Union (for overseas mortality screening);
  • Overseas payments provider to transmit payments to scheme members with non- UK accounts – currently Western Union;
  • Printing companies – currently Bath & North East Somerset Council Print Services;
  • Pensions software provider – currently Aquila Heywoods Ltd and i-Connect;
  • Suppliers of IT, document production and distribution services;
  • Avon Fire Pensioners Association;
  • Statutory, External and Internal auditors;
  • The Department for Work and Pensions;
  • The Government Actuary's Department;
  • The Cabinet Office - for the purposes of the National Fraud Initiative
  • HMRC; and
  • The Courts of England and Wales - for the purpose of processing pension sharing orders on divorce

In each case we will only do this to the extent that we consider the information is reasonably required for these purposes. We do not use your personal data for marketing purposes and will not share this data with anyone for the purpose of marketing to you or any beneficiary. Where requested or if we consider that it is reasonably required, we may also provide your data to government bodies, dispute resolution and law enforcement organisations, including those listed above, the Pensions Regulator, the Pensions Ombudsman and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC). They may then use the data to carry out their own statutory functions. The organisations referred to in the paragraphs above may use the personal data to perform their functions in relation to the Scheme as well as for statistical and financial modelling and planning (such as calculating expected average benefit costs and mortality rates), business administration and regulatory purposes. They may also pass the data to other third parties; to the extent that they consider the information is reasonably required for a legitimate purpose.

Further Information

Further information about the GDPR and Data Protection Act can be obtained from the ICO’s website Information about how AFA (operationally known as Avon Fire & Rescue Service), complies with the data protection legislation is available on our website pages. This includes our policies, information about your rights and how to submit a request for personal information All our Privacy Notices can be found on our website and includes information about our Data Protection Officer and how to raise concerns. This Privacy Notice will be regularly reviewed and updated, it was last updated on 27.06.2018.