How to transfer your existing pension benefits into the Legal Aid (Scotland) Pension Scheme

When you join the Legal Aid (Scotland) Pension Scheme, you have the opportunity to transfer pension savings to your new scheme. We can accept transfers from most pension schemes as long as they are registered with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) or they're a Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme.

This is an important benefit for new members (and for re-joiners) as transferring existing pension rights can increase your final pension from the Legal Aid (Scotland) Pension Scheme.

Applications to transfer benefits into the Legal Aid (Scotland) Pension Scheme must be made within 12 months of joining the scheme for the first time and before the scheme’s normal pension age of 65.

The transfer process can take several months from application to completion so it's important that you act quickly on any correspondence from SPPA or your former pension provider in order to meet the 12 month deadline.

How to transfer your existing pension benefits into the Legal Aid (Scotland) Pension Scheme

  1. Start the transfer process

    To start the transfer process, complete and return your Transfer Request form. We'll then contact your former scheme and request your transfer details. If, for any reason, you're ineligible to transfer your benefits into the scheme, we'll let you know at this stage.

  2. Receive your estimate

    Once we've received your transfer details, including your transfer value, we'll provide you with an estimate of the amount of service credit your transfer value will purchase in the Legal Aid (Scotland) Pension Scheme.

    Important note: Some providers will only guarantee a transfer value for a specific period of time so it's important to return all your completed forms within the time specified. Any delays could mean that the final transfer value may be recalculated by your former provider, potentially producing a different service credit from the one previously quoted. 

  3. Return your form

    Once you've had a chance to consider your estimate, if you decide to proceed with the transfer, just return the signed options forms to SPPA, as well as any forms required by your former pension provider.

  4. SPPA receive your form

    When we receive your election for the transfer to go ahead, we’ll request payment from your former provider in the case of transfers from a private scheme. After we’ve received the transfer payment (or confirmed your entitlement through the Civil Service Transfer Club arrangements) we’ll update your pension record and confirm the completion of the transfer. Please note your membership credit will depend on the actual transfer payment received from your previous scheme. In some cases, this may differ from estimates provided.

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