Who qualifies for a refund of contributions?

When you join the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, you’re automatically enrolled in the pension scheme. In a small number of cases if you leave your employment as a firefighter, or opt out of the pension scheme, you may be entitled to a refund of the contributions that have been deducted from your salary.

If you leave the scheme within the first three months of joining and you haven’t transferred benefits from another pension scheme, your only option will be to take a refund of contributions, less deductions for tax. This will be automatically repaid by your employer.

What happens if a refund isn’t possible?

If you’ve transferred service from another provider, or if you have more than three months’ service in the scheme, your benefits will be preserved in the scheme and revalued in line with the Consumer Price Index until you reach State Pension age. In some instances (such as ill-health retirement, they may be paid earlier).

You may also be able to transfer your benefits to another scheme. For example, if you join a fire authority in another part of the UK or move to another employer who offers an approved defined benefit pension scheme.

Further reading

Firefighters' Opt Out Leaflet

Opt Out Form

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