Becoming a member of the Scottish Teachers’ Pension Scheme
All new full and part-time teachers and lecturers in Scotland are automatically enrolled in the Scottish Teachers’ Pension Scheme as long as they’re 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 which allows you to 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%. You’ll find more information on how this works here.
The scheme also has a number of 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 Teachers’ Scheme also offers a number of ways 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 additional payments for faster accrual of pension rights
- the option to purchase additional pension
- the option to purchase an Early Retirement Reduction Buy Out which means you can retire earlier than your State Pension age.
Although new members are automatically enrolled, you can opt out of the Scottish Teachers’ Pension Scheme.