Contingent decisions

What is a contingent decision?

A contingent decision is a decision taken by a member, that would have been different had it not been for the discrimination identified by the courts. The decision will relate to your membership of the Police Pension Scheme during the remedy period 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2022.

The types of contingent decisions are:

  • opting out of a pension - a member who would not have opted out if they had been allowed to remain in the Legacy scheme beyond their transition date 
  • transfers - a member who chose to transfer (in or out) and now wants to revisit the decision, or chose not to transfer and now wishes to do so
  • honoraria - would have chosen an Honoraria (non-pensionable payment) if they had remained in the Legacy scheme
  • additional service - a member who would have purchased (more) additional service if they were in the Legacy scheme

At the moment, the only contingent decision you can apply for is buying back opted-out service from a pension scheme you opted out of.

We’ll open applications for transfers, honoraria and additional service later.

Apply to buy back into your pension if you opted out under 2015 Remedy

Am I eligible to apply?

If you opted out between 12 March 2012 and 28 February 2022, you can apply to buy back service for the period between 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2022, if the reason you opted out was because of the discrimination identified by the courts.

Check if you’re eligible for 2015 Remedy.

The specific date that you opted out and the scheme you opted out from will depend on how this service can be re-instated.

If you opted out between 12 March 2012 and 31 March 2015

If you were a member of the 1987 scheme, you’ll re-join the 2006 scheme.

This is because the rules in place before this date did not allow members to re-join the 1987 scheme.

If you were a member of the 2006 scheme, you’ll re-join the 2006 scheme for service from 1 April 2015 up to 31 March 2022.

Your opted-out service can be bought back for any qualifying service built up from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2022.

If you opted out between 1 April 2015 and 28 February 2022

If you were a member of the 1987 scheme, you’ll re-join the 1987 scheme. 

If you were a member of the 2006 scheme, you’ll re-join the 2006 scheme. 

Your opted-out service can be bought back for any qualifying service built up from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2022.

If you have any opted-out service after 1 April 2022, we can re-instate your membership of the CARE scheme from 1 April 2022.

What if I have maximum service

If I’ve reached maximum service before the remedy period

Service between the date maximum service was reached up to 1 April 2015 will not count for pension purposes.

Service between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2022 will count for pension purposes only if CARE scheme benefits are chosen for the remedy period.

If I’ve reached maximum service during the remedy period

Service between 1 April 2015 and the date 30 years’ service was reached count for pension purposes for both the Legacy and CARE scheme when you make your remedy choice.

Service between the date maximum service was reached and 31 March 2022 will count for pension purposes only if CARE scheme benefits are chosen for the remedy period.

How much will it cost?

If your claim is approved, you'll need to pay the total contributions and interest due.

Tax relief will be deducted from the amount due. The way this will be deducted depends on your status and your selected payment option. 

Annual allowance

If you buy back into your pension, any increase in your pension benefits might change your annual allowance.

Before you apply

Before starting your application, check that you meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • you’re eligible for 2015 Remedy
  • the service you want to buy back is during the period 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2022
  • you opted out between 12 March 2012 and 28 February 2022
  • you would not have opted out if the discrimination identified by the courts had not happened

How to apply

Before you apply

Before starting your application, check that you meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • you’re eligible for 2015 Remedy
  • the service you want to buy back is during the period 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2022
  • you opted out between 12 March 2012 and 28 February 2022
  • you would not have opted out if the discrimination identified by the courts had not happened

If you're eligible, complete the application form.

You may need to provide evidence with your application. 

Application form

Evidence to support your application

The date you opted out of the scheme and your transition date (this is the date you were due to transition into the CARE scheme) will determine the evidence we need you to provide.

  • If you opted out within 6 months of your transition date, you do not need to provide any supporting evidence at this stage as we should already have the evidence required.
  • If you opted out more than 6 months before your transition date - or more than 6 months after your transition date - you’ll need to provide evidence to support the claim.

 Evidence can include:

  • letters or emails with your employer
  • letters, emails or decisions from the SPPA
  • letters, emails or documents from a financial adviser
  • letters or emails with an independent advice or advocacy service, for example your local Citizens Advice Bureau
  • a formal complaint or claim, or
  • any other written correspondence that the changes to your pension influenced your financial decision

You can send us copies of your evidence. If you send us any originals, we'll send them back to you.

When to apply

You can apply now, but you must apply before 30 September 2024. We cannot accept new applications after this date.

Applying for someone else

You can apply on behalf of a member if you have power of attorney for them or are legally acting on their behalf.

You can also apply if you're making decisions on behalf of a member who has died.

Getting help to apply

You might want to get independent support or advocacy to help you apply to buy back into your pension scheme.

You can find out about advocates in your area by contacting the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance:

Phone: 0131 510 9410

Website: www.siaa.org.uk

You can find out about advisers in your area through Citizens Advice Scotland:

Website: www.cas.org.uk 

Submitting your form and evidence

By email

If you’re emailing us your form, scan in and email us your evidence with your application form.

Email us at: SPPAcustomercare@gov.scot

By post

If you’re posting us your form, make sure you include photocopies of your evidence.

Post your application and evidence to:

Scottish Public Pensions Agency

7 Tweedside Park

Tweedbank

Galashiels

TD1 3TE

What happens after you apply

We’ll confirm we’ve received your application.

We’ll review your application and evidence. Within six months of receiving your completed claim, we’ll decide if your application:

  • is successful – and we’ll tell you how much you’ll need to pay
  • is rejected – and we’ll explain to you why
  • needs more evidence to support your application

If we need more evidence, we’ll let you know. You’ll have three months to send us new or extra evidence, even if you apply just before 30 September 2024.

If your application is approved

If your application is approved, we’ll send you a contingent decision ‘Remediable Service Statement’ (RSS) for buying back opted-out service.

This will have details of:

  • the contributions and interest that you’ll have to pay
  • information about any associated pension benefits so you can see the impact of any Contingent Decision election. Both the Legacy and Reformed Scheme choices will be shown
  • details of how and when you will need to make payment(s)

We’ll also ask you to let us know your decision. You must make your decision within 12 months.

If your application is rejected

If your application is rejected, we’ll send you details of how to raise a dispute through the Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure (IDRP).

You’ll also have the right of appeal to The Pensions Ombudsman.

Was this information useful?
Your feedback helps us to improve this website. Do not give any personal information because we cannot reply to you directly.