Find out what happens to your pension when you stop working for Police Scotland
On this page:
- What happens to your pension when you leave the Police
- Preserve your existing pension
- Transfer your pension to another scheme
Leaving within three months
Opting out between three months and two years
If you leave between three months and two years, you can:
- apply for a refund of contributions, less a deduction for tax
- transfer your benefits to another public service pension scheme
- defer taking a refund until you’ve decided what you’re doing next (for example, returning to the Police at a future date or re-joining the scheme within five years)
Preserving your benefits
If you contribute to a Scottish Police pension scheme for more than two years, your benefits will be preserved for you when you leave. This means that any contributions you made will be kept in the pension scheme until you retire.
What you’re entitled to will depend on how long you paid in for and what your salary was at the time. Your pension will still be increased every year in line with the Consumer Price Index.
When can I take my pension?
You can claim your pension in full at your normal pension age. This will be different depending on which Police pension scheme you paid in to:
- 1987 Scheme, from age 60
- 2006 Scheme, from age 65
- 2015 scheme, from your State Pension age
In most cases, you can choose to retire early and access some of your pension with a reduction from age 50 or age 55. You can also retire because of ill health.
What happens if I re-join Police Scotland?
If you have preserved benefits and you’re in Police employment in Scotland, you can re-join the scheme at any time before your normal pension age.
If you have a break in service lasting more than five years, you’ll be placed in the 2015 scheme – even if you were previously a member of the 1987 or 2006 scheme.
Transfer your pension to another scheme
Transfer your pension to another scheme
When you leave Police Scotland, you might be able to transfer the value of your pension benefits to another approved pension scheme.
Pension transfers are frequently targeted by criminals. Anyone can be the victim of a pension scam. Please read information provided by the Pensions Regulator before you make a final decision on your pension transfer.
Transfer time limits
You must apply for a transfer payment within six months of leaving Police employment or opting out of the Police scheme – or within twelve months for transfers to other UK public sector schemes. The Police authority may choose to extend time limits at its discretion.
PPS members aren’t able to transfer if they’re within a year of reaching the age of 60.
NPPS members aren’t able to transfer if they’re within a year of reaching the age of 65.
Police 2015 members, and Police 2015 transitional members, must transfer before state pension age.
Transferring to a Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme
To check if you’re able to transfer to a Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme, send the details of your new scheme to our transfers team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your transfer might be subject to a tax deduction.
Cancelling a transfer
Once a payment has been sent to another scheme on your behalf, the transfer can’t be reversed. If you change your mind after initiating a transfer, contact SPPA immediately.
How to transfer your pension
Ask your new pension provider about their transfer process and check that they will accept a transfer from the Scottish Police pension scheme. Your new provider will manage the transfer request for you.
When we receive a transfer request from the receiving scheme, we’ll check they are eligible and provide a transfer value as quickly as we can. This will be guaranteed for three months. We’ll send the valuation to your new pension provider along with any necessary forms.
Your new provider will tell you what benefits your transfer value will buy in their scheme. At this stage, you should compare the benefits offered by your new provider with those preserved in the Police scheme.
You should also compare the normal retirement age in the Police scheme with your new provider’s normal retirement age as it can sometimes change as a result of the transfer. SPPA can’t give you financial advice, so you may wish to contact an independent financial advisor before transferring your benefits to a new scheme.
Information can be found on The Money and Pensions Service Website.
If you decide to proceed with the transfer, sign the discharge forms and send them to your new scheme so they can request the transfer on your behalf. Once a payment has been sent to your new scheme, transfers cannot be reversed. Make sure you check it against the normal retirement age in your new provider’s scheme.
Contact the SPPA Transfers Team
Write to us
Scottish Public Pensions Agency
7 Tweedside Park
01896 893 000 and ask for Transfers when prompted