Anger over fire officer's increased pension

August 01, 2011 10:02 AM

When the Chief Fire Officer of Humberside Fire and Rescue Service retired, the Fire Authority took the decision to temporarily promote four officers. All four were eligible to retire.  Anyone who understands the way public sector pensions work (and those councillors on the Fire Authority Board should) will tell you this temporary move was going to cost taxpayers dearly, because when these officers retire their pensions will be calculated using the higher salary.

Mark Rhodes (temporarily promoted to Assistant  Officer) applied to retire just one day after he had completed two months in his new job, and today has left the fire service.  As a result of his promotion, he has seen his lump sum increase by £29,000, and his yearly pension will be around £3,000 higher. 

This story not only infuriates taxpayers, it also infuriates firefighters too, who see those at the top cashing-in on their senior positions. In my opinion, what it worse than the increased payments themselves is the sheer incompetence of the fire authority board members. You won't be surprised to read that the chairman of the fire authority has refused to comment. Instead, a statement was issued.

"The Fire Authority, like some other services, decided to make temporary appointments of senior uniformed fire officers to fill  vacancies in preparation for the retirement of the then Chief Fire Officer."

Tell us something we don't know as the chairman of the fire authority retreats to his bunker as soon as the heat is turned up. Taxpayers have a right to know if board members were aware of the financial cost of making these temporary promotions. If not, why not? Who advised them? Was their advice taken?

Members of the fire authority are paid a basic allowance of £4,457.04. The chairman, John Briggs, also receives a special responsibility allowance of £10,703.46. In addition to this, as a councillor on North Lincolnshire Council he receives a basic allowance of £7,638. As deputy leader he also receives a special responsibility allowance of £14,544. A grand total of £37,072.50. He is paid enough to answer difficult questions. He needs to start answering them.

[iframe http://www.youtube.com/embed/-_wiojLYH-o 485 306]When the Chief Fire Officer of Humberside Fire and Rescue Service retired, the Fire Authority took the decision to temporarily promote four officers. All four were eligible to retire.  Anyone who understands the way public sector pensions work (and those councillors on the Fire Authority Board should) will tell you this temporary move was going to cost taxpayers dearly, because when these officers retire their pensions will be calculated using the higher salary.

Mark Rhodes (temporarily promoted to Assistant  Officer) applied to retire just one day after he had completed two months in his new job, and today has left the fire service.  As a result of his promotion, he has seen his lump sum increase by £29,000, and his yearly pension will be around £3,000 higher. 

This story not only infuriates taxpayers, it also infuriates firefighters too, who see those at the top cashing-in on their senior positions. In my opinion, what it worse than the increased payments themselves is the sheer incompetence of the fire authority board members. You won't be surprised to read that the chairman of the fire authority has refused to comment. Instead, a statement was issued.

"The Fire Authority, like some other services, decided to make temporary appointments of senior uniformed fire officers to fill  vacancies in preparation for the retirement of the then Chief Fire Officer."

Tell us something we don't know as the chairman of the fire authority retreats to his bunker as soon as the heat is turned up. Taxpayers have a right to know if board members were aware of the financial cost of making these temporary promotions. If not, why not? Who advised them? Was their advice taken?

Members of the fire authority are paid a basic allowance of £4,457.04. The chairman, John Briggs, also receives a special responsibility allowance of £10,703.46. In addition to this, as a councillor on North Lincolnshire Council he receives a basic allowance of £7,638. As deputy leader he also receives a special responsibility allowance of £14,544. A grand total of £37,072.50. He is paid enough to answer difficult questions. He needs to start answering them.

[iframe http://www.youtube.com/embed/-_wiojLYH-o 485 306]

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