How your Police Pension works
On this page:
- Your pension scheme information and key features
Your pension scheme membership
Access to a high quality occupational pension scheme is an important and valuable benefit for all Police Scotland employees. As a scheme member, you get an excellent package of pension benefits which are index linked and guaranteed by the Government.
For example, once you have accrued two years' service you’ll be entitled to receive a pension payable for life when you retire. Further benefits include the ability to transfer in previous pension rights, early retirement options should you become too ill to work and death benefits for your dependants that start from the day you join the scheme.
You'll be automatically enrolled into the scheme from the start of your Police Scotland employment (or re-employment) and the contributions you make will be subject to tax relief. Although enrolment is automatic, scheme membership is not compulsory and you can opt out if you choose.
About the Scottish Police 2015 Scheme
The Police Pension Scheme 2015 replaced the previous Police pension arrangements for new members on 1 April 2015. Anyone joining Police Scotland after that date is automatically enrolled in the scheme. Additionally, if you’ve previously been a member of either the 1987 or 2006 versions of the Police pension scheme, you may have been transitioned to the 2015 scheme already – or you will be at an agreed date in the future.
The Police Pension Scheme 2015 scheme is a high-quality workplace pension scheme that offers defined benefits at retirement and protection for your dependents based on your career average earnings.
- Career average revalued earnings scheme which provides benefits based on your earnings each year which are revalued annually to keep pace with inflation.
- Current accrual rate of 1/56.1 of pensionable pay in each year.
- Revaluation is linked to Consumer Price Index.
- Options to transfer in service from other pension schemes.
- Normal pension age of 60, deferred pension age linked to State Pension age.
- Early retirement options from age 55 subject to actuarial reduction to age 60 (or State Pension age for deferred pensions).
- Tax-free lump sum option at retirement – £12 of lump sum for every £1 of annual pension given up with a current maximum of 35.7% of your pension fund (subject to a decrease from your 65th birthday onwards).
- Valuable death benefits for your dependents.
- Ill health retirement options if you’re permanently unable to work as a police officer or if you’re permanently unable to undertake any paid work.
- Valuable benefits for members who are injured while on duty.
Looking for specific information about your 2015 pension or need to know how to use our services? These links will take you to relevant pages that can help:
Our pension calculator can give you an estimate of what you may be entitled to when you choose to retire.
Pension estimates and your Annual Benefit Statement
Information about pension estimates and your annual benefit statements, including how to access them.
Joining the 2015 Scheme
Information for new members of the scheme, including how to top up or transfer-in another pension.
Leaving the Police or opting-out of the scheme
Learn more about what to do if you want to stop paying into your pension pot or are thinking about leaving Police employment.
Transferring another pension into the Police scheme
A step-by-step guide to help you transfer another pension into the Police scheme.
Find out if you are eligible for injury benefits if you have been injured whilst at work.
Paying for additional pension benefits
Find out how to contribute more into your pension scheme so that you can increase your entitlement when you retire.
Normal Retirement Age
You can use the state pension age calculator to find out when you will be able to retire from the 2015 scheme without an early retirement penalty.
About the Scottish Police Pension Scheme 2006
The Police Pension Scheme 2006 (NPPS) applied to all serving police officers who joined the service between 6 April 2006 and 1 April 2015, unless they decided to opt out. It also accepted officers who decided to transfer from the 1987 Police Pension Scheme (PPS). The Police Pension Scheme 2006 closed to new members on 1 April 2015.
- Single accrual rate of 1/70 of final salary for each year of service
- Maximum pension of half final salary plus a fixed lump sum of 4 times the pension, with option to give up part (or all) of the lump sum for additional annual pension
- Maximum pension after 35 years
- A normal pension age of 55 years
- A deferred pension age of 65 years
- An immediate pension and lump sum payment to any officer granted ill-health retirement.
- A lump sum death grant of three times pay
- A pension for a spouse, civil partner or eligible nominated partner* payable for life – these are normally half of the officer’s pension entitlement. *Unmarried partners and partners who aren’t in a civil partnership can be nominated as beneficiaries if they meet certain qualifying conditions.
- Dependent children under the age of 23 may qualify for a pension.
About the Scottish Police Pension Scheme 1987
The Police Pension Scheme 1987 (PPS) was introduced in 1987 and applied to all serving police officers who joined the service until 6 April 2006, unless they decided to opt out.
It’s a statutory pension scheme based on the Police Pensions Regulations 1987 (as amended), made under the Police Pensions Act 1976 and was designed to offer police officers financial security both in the time up to retirement and beyond. The Police Pension Scheme 1987 closed to new members on 6 April 2006.
- Dual accrual rate of 1/60 of final salary for each year of service for the first 20 years and then an accelerated rate of 2/60 of final salary for each year of service thereafter
- Maximum pension of 2/3 final salary with an option to commute part of the pension for a tax-free lump sum
- Retirement option on completion of 30 years’ service or 25 years’ service for members over 50
- A deferred pension age of 60 years
- Immediate pension and lump sum payment to any officer at any age who is granted ill-health retirement
- A lump sum death grant of two times pay
- A pension for a widow, widower or surviving civil partner, normally of half of the officer’s pension entitlement
- Dependent children under the age of 23 may qualify for a pension.
Your Police Contributions
Your Police pension contributions
The amount you pay towards your pension scheme depends on your ‘pensionable pay’ (which is your salary, wages, fees and any other regular payments but not any bonuses, expenses or overtime payments).
For officers this is based on your previous year’s earnings. If you are a practitioner, we’ll use earnings in the current year. If you work part-time, your contribution rate is worked out using your whole time equivalent pensionable pay.
Your pension contributions are deducted from your monthly salary by your employer and you receive income tax relief on your contributions.
Your employer contributes an amount equal to 29.4% of your pensionable pay into the scheme on your behalf.
Members of the Scottish Police Pension Scheme 2015 currently pay a flat rate of 13.46% into the scheme regardless of their pensionable earnings.
Previous contribution rates for the legacy 2006 and 1987 schemes are available in the following table:
|Pensionable earnings||2006 Scheme||1987 Scheme|
|Up to £27,000||11%||12.50%|
|£27,001 to £60,000||12.05%||14.25%|