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:

Opting out

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.

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