The Legal Aid (Scotland) Pension Scheme - membership and benefits
Membership of the Scottish Legal Aid pension scheme is a valuable benefit. It’s a defined benefit scheme and, after two years of qualifying service, you’ll be entitled to receive a pension payable for life when you retire.
The scheme is divided into two sections (Pre 2010 and Post 2010 ) and all new Scottish Legal Aid Board employees who meet the membership criteria* are automatically enrolled in the Legal Aid (Scotland) Pension Scheme's Post 2010 section.
* New members must be between the ages of 16 and 75 and can't already be receiving a pension from the Pre 2010 section of the scheme.
How the scheme works
The Legal Aid (Scotland) Pension Scheme is a final salary scheme which offers a range of benefits depending on which section you are in.
Members in the Pre 2010 section earn an annual pension equal to 1/80th of their final salary for every year of service in the scheme plus a tax-free lump sum equal to 3 x annual pension.
Members in the Post 2010 section receive 1/60th of their pensionable earnings for each year of service in the scheme.
Both sections also offer:
- the option to give up some of your annual pension for a tax-free lump sum in retirement
- a range of benefits for your dependants should you die
- early retirement options should you become too ill to work.
Both you and your employer contribute towards the cost of your pension. Deductions (at the rate of 6%) are taken directly from your salary by your payroll department before tax, meaning that your contributions will benefit from tax relief. Your employer also makes a contribution to the scheme on your behalf.
Increasing the value of your pension
The scheme also offers a number of ways to increase the value of the pension you’ll receive in retirement. These include:
Although new employees are automatically enrolled, you can opt out of the scheme at any time.
Please note that if you do opt out, your employer will automatically re-enrol you back into the scheme every three years.