Receiving your pension

Overview

We look after pension payments for over 200,000 members of the Police, Firefighters’, NHS and Teachers’ pension schemes. We have two payroll teams – one for the Police and Firefighters’ pension schemes and one for the NHS and Teachers’ pension schemes. Each team is responsible for keeping records and paying lump sums and monthly pension payments, as well as applying increases, issuing P60s and taking care of pensioner death notifications.

If you’re about to receive your pension payment for the first time you’ll probably have a few questions. This page aims to help you answer them, but if you have any other queries please contact us.

Updating your personal details

Make sure you tell us about changes to your personal details as quickly as you can.

Changing your address

You can tell us about a change of address by phone, email or letter. It’s important to keep your personal details up to date because if we receive any returned mail we’ll suspend your pension to protect you and your data.

Contact us by phone:

Teachers’ and NHS schemes call: 01896 893000

Our phone system uses voice recognition technology – if you know who you want to speak to, just say their name or department. If you don’t know who you want to speak to, follow the menu.

Contact us by post:

NHS and Teachers’ Pension Payroll
Scottish Public Pensions Agency
7 Tweedside Park
Tweedbank
Galashiels
TD1 3TE

Email us

payroll@gov.scot

Changing your bank details

If you change your bank details, you may tell us in writing, via email, or by telephone.

To tell us about a change of bank account in writing, your letter must be signed by the person receiving the pension or a representative with power of attorney or a legal guardian. You can post the letter to us, or scan and attach a copy to an email.

If you forget to sign your letter then we won’t be able to update your records, which may mean your payment gets delayed.

To tell us about a change of bank account by email or over the phone, you will need to answer some additional security questions.

We will require you to confirm your name, address, date of birth, National Insurance number or Superannuation number. Then in addition you must confirm the existing bank Sort Code and Account number, along with the current monthly amount of your pension payments.

As payrolls are run throughout the month, we cannot guarantee that details will be changed in time for your next payment. For this reason, we advise that old bank accounts remain open, until the first successful transfer to the new details.

Contact us by post:

NHS and Teachers’ Pension Payroll
Scottish Public Pensions Agency
7 Tweedside Park
Tweedbank
Galashiels
TD1 3TE

Email a scanned copy of your letter to:

payroll@gov.scot

Changing other details

Letting us know about other changes, like a change of marital status.

To change your marital status, name or any other details, you must write to us by post or email us. Include photocopies of any supporting documents, for example your marriage certificate or divorce decree.

Contact us by post:

NHS and Teachers’ Pension Payroll
Scottish Public Pensions Agency
7 Tweedside Park
Tweedbank
Galashiels
TD1 3TE

Email us with a scanned copy of your supporting documentation:

payroll@gov.scot

My Pension Online

If you are a member of the NHS or Teachers’ schemes, you can register to use My Pension Online, a free online service which makes it easy to look after your pension. You can use My Pension Online to submit details like a change of address or bank details quickly and easily.

Receiving your pension payments

Everything you need to know about regular payments and lump sum payments in the NHS and Teachers’ schemes.

Receiving your payments and lump sum

New pension payments are made monthly in arrears on the last banking day of the month. If your retirement doesn’t start at the beginning of the month, your first payment will cover the portion of the month you were retired. Any back-dated arrears from an earlier retirement date will be included in the first payment.

If you are due a lump sum it will usually be paid within one month of your retirement date.

If the last day of the month falls on a weekend, you’ll be paid on the Friday before. If your normal payment date falls on a bank holiday, payment will be made on the preceding banking day.

We don’t routinely issue paper-based pay advice notes unless there is a change in your payment amount of more than £1, for example through a tax code change or annual increase. You can Register for My Pension Online to view and download your pay advice notes every month.

Receiving your pension abroad

Receiving a pension when you don’t live in the UK.

If you live abroad you can choose to have your pension paid into an overseas bank account through Citibank, our overseas service provider. Citibank buy foreign currencies in bulk when rates are favourable and use their buying power to get more competitive rates. There is a charge for this service.

Charges

A standard 2% foreign currency transaction charge is applied to all overseas payments, which is payable by you. There is no handling fee. Citibank purchase currencies in bulk ahead of time which means it’s difficult to compare like-for-like when it comes to exchange rates.

Third-party charges or fees

You are responsible for any third-party charges or fees, which may include:

  • Intermediary or correspondent bank charges
    If your payment is routed through a correspondent or intermediary bank, they may charge for this service. Citibank always aim to use their own branch network to minimise intermediary or correspondent bank charges.
  • Beneficiary bank charges
    Beneficiary bank charges are charged by your bank for processing an incoming foreign payment. In most cases, Citibank uses the local clearing house system (for example, BACS in the UK) which means payments are identified as a domestic item rather than a foreign payment to reduce beneficiary bank charges.

Overseas mandates

To receive your pension payment abroad you must complete an overseas mandate form. It’s a good idea to contact your overseas bank for advice when completing the form to make sure the information you give us is complete and accurate. Incorrect information may mean your payment is delayed.

Payment will be made in your country’s local currency unless you request otherwise. If you wish to receive payments in another currency it’s likely we’ll need more information from you so please contact the payroll team for more information.

Overseas mandate forms

Click on the link to find the overseas mandate form for the country where you want your pension to be paid.

Tax on your pension payments

Tax codes are calculated by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). When a pension payment starts, it’s usually taxed at the emergency rate until HMRC give us the right tax code. Tax codes are calculated by taking into account all your income and any relevant circumstances. We can’t tell you how your tax code is calculated, so if you’d like more information about it, or about tax in general, you should contact HMRC.

You can also phone HMRC on 0300 200 3300 (+44 135 535 9022 if you’re outside the UK). If calling, it’s a good idea to have your National Insurance number, payroll number and tax reference (also known as your PAYE reference) to hand.

PAYE references are issued to employers and pension providers so HMRC can identify who is making the payment and deducting the tax. It is used to send new tax code notifications to the right income source.

PAYE references

PAYE references for your SPPA pension scheme

Teachers' pensions Retired teachers use 961 9000458
Teachers' widows, widowers and family dependents use 961 8235354
Former grant-aided college teachers use 961 8229439

 

Annual pension increase

Public sector pensions are increased in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) every April, under the provisions of the Pensions (Increase) Act 1971 and according to the Social Security Pensions Act 1975. Increases depend on the CPI rate in the 12 months up to the previous September.

The amount of any increase is announced by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in the draft Pensions Increase (Review) Order which is approved by the UK Parliament in March. Increases then take place from the first Monday after 5 April. We’ll tell you in April if your pension will increase for the year ahead. We’ll also send you a P60 which shows your total pension paid and tax deducted for the year.

If you haven’t been receiving your pension for a full year, you’ll only receive a proportion of the annual increase.

If you’re under 55, the increase won’t be applied until your 55th birthday, unless:

  • you retired on ill-health
  • you receive an injury benefit
  • you receive a widow or widower’s pension, civil partner, partner or child pension

Turning 55

If you’re due to turn 55, we’ll calculate your new pension rate before your birthday and let you know. If your 55th birthday is part-way through a payment period you’ll get a part-month increase based on your pension before 55 and after 55. Your next payment will include a full month-increase.

We don’t provide estimates of age 55 increases.

Guaranteed Minimum Pension

If you retired after 1978 and receive a State Pension, you may be affected by the Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP), also known as the Contracted Out Pension Equivalent (COPE) rules. That means you may not always receive the full annual percentage increase in your SPPA pension as part of your increase may be paid by the Department of Work and Pensions.

Find out how GMP and COPE affects members of the Teachers pension scheme

When someone dies

What to do when someone claiming a pension dies

Telling us that someone has died

If someone claiming a pension dies then we’re here to help.

If someone claiming a pension dies, It’s important to let us know as soon as possible. That means we can prevent any overpayment and process any survivor benefits quickly. You can contact us by letter or email or phone us.

When you contact us, please have the following information to hand:

  • the deceased person’s name
  • their date of birth
  • their National Insurance number or pension reference number
  • details of any surviving spouse, partner or dependent children
  • contact details for the solicitor or executor dealing with the estate

We will also need a photocopy of the full death certificate which you can post or email to us.

When we receive the information, we’ll stop any further payments and calculate any under or overpayment. If appropriate we’ll send out application forms for any survivor benefits. We’ll tell the solicitor or executor about any amounts due to be paid and issue a P60.

Contact us by phone:

Teachers’ and NHS schemes call: 01896 893000

Our phone system uses voice recognition technology – if you know who you want to speak to, just say their name or department. If you don’t know who you want to speak to, follow the menu.

Contact us by post:

NHS and Teachers’ Pension Payroll
Scottish Public Pensions Agency
7 Tweedside Park
Tweedbank
Galashiels
TD1 3TE

Email us

payroll@gov.scot

Or use the contact us form

Receiving a widow or widower’s pension

If you receive a widow or widower’s pension and your circumstances change, you must let us know.

What counts as a change of circumstances?

If you receive a widow or widower’s pension you must tell us if you decide to re-marry, live with another person as husband and wife, or register a civil partnership because it may affect your pension payment. We will then let you know if your pension payment will continue or end.

If you don’t tell us about any changes in your circumstances and are no longer entitled to a widower or widow’s pension, any payments made will be recoverable by us.

Receiving a dependant’s pension

If you receive a dependant’s pension and your circumstances change, you must let us know.

What counts as a change of circumstances?

If you receive a dependent’s pension, you must let us know if you leave education or training, take a gap year, get a job, get married or enter a civil partnership. These changes may affect your pension.

We’ll contact you every year to ask you to prove that you are still in full-time education or training. If you don’t reply to our query your pension will be suspended, so please make sure you keep your personal details up to date.

If you don’t tell us about any changes in your circumstances and are no longer entitled to a dependent’s pension, any payments made will be recoverable by us.