Your retirement options
If you're a member of the Legal Aid (Scotland) Pension Scheme's pre October 2010 section, your normal pension age is 60 (unless you joined after 1 October 2008 when the normal pension age changed to 65).
Once you reach your normal pension age, you're able to retire from Scottish Legal Aid Board employment and draw the full value of your pension. Pensions are paid for life and increase in line with inflation, usually in April each year. If you retire before 55, your Pension will not normally attract increases until you reach age 55.
The minimum age you are able to claim your pension benefits depends on when you joined the scheme. If you were a member of the scheme before 6 April 2006, your minimum retirement age is 50 if you joined after this date, it's 55. Any benefits claimed before your normal pension age are paid on a reduced basis to reflect the fact that they're being taken early.
If you return to the Scottish Legal Aid Board within one month of retiring, your pension may be suspended and you may have to repay any pension you've received. You'll also not be able to rejoin the pre-October 2010 section of the scheme.
If you work beyond your normal pension age, your pension will be paid when you eventually retire and the value of any pension earned before your normal pension age will be enhanced.
What you'll receive
When you retire, you'll receive an annual pension and a retirement lump sum. Your pension will be equal to 1/80th of your final year’s pensionable pay for each year of service in the scheme up to a maximum of 45 years. If you work part-time, your pension will be based on the full-time equivalent rate of pensionable pay. Your retirement lump sum is three times your annual pension and is normally paid tax free. You also have options to 'commute' some of your annual pension into a lump sum. Every £1 of annual pension given up equals £12 of lump sum and the maximum tax free lump sum you can take is 25% of the overall value of your 'pension pot'.
Applying for your benefits
When you're ready to retire, ask your employer for an application form. This should be completed four months before your intended retirement date.