Becoming a member of the Scottish Teachers' Pension Scheme

On this page:

  • Benefits of becoming a member
  • How the scheme works

New Teachers and lecturers employed in Scotland are automatically enrolled in the Scottish Teachers' Pension scheme if they are:

  • aged between 16 and 75, and;
  • work in an establishment maintained by a local authority or grant aided by Scottish Ministers, or;
  • in an independent school or a further or higher education establishment that’s been accepted into the Teachers’ 2015 scheme.

A valuable benefit

Membership of the scheme is a valuable benefit. It’s a defined benefit scheme and after 2 years of qualifying service, you’ll be entitled to receive a pension payable for life when you retire.

Both you and your employer contribute towards the cost of your pension. Deductions are taken directly from your salary by your payroll department and you receive tax relief on your contributions.

How the scheme works

The Scottish Teachers’ Pension Scheme 2015 is a Career Average Re-valued Earnings (CARE) scheme. You can accumulate 1/57th of your pensionable earnings each year you’re a member. That amount is then revalued each year until you retire using the Consumer Price Index plus 1.6%. 

The scheme also has many other benefits for qualifying members, including:

  • The option to give up some of your 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.
  • Topping up your pension and transferring in

The Scheme also offers ways for you to increase the value of the pension you’ll receive in retirement. These include:

  • the ability to transfer in previous pension rights;
  • options to make extra payments for faster accrual of pension rights;
  • the option to purchase additional pension, and;
  • the option to purchase an Early Retirement Reduction Buy Out which means you can retire earlier than your State Pension age.

Opting out

Although new members are automatically enrolled in the 2015 scheme, you can choose to opt-out of the scheme if your circumstances change.

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.