stepping stonesTransferring service into the Teachers' Pension Schemes

When you join the Teachers' Pension Schemes you can transfer your pension credit from a previous scheme provided that:

■ you apply for a transfer within 12 months of entering pensionable teaching service and before your actual retirement

■ the previous scheme meets HMRC requirements

You can transfer most pension benefits, mainly those approved as a pension scheme by HMRC, such as public sector schemes (club schemes), personal pension plans and overseas schemes if they are a Qualified Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS). QROPS List

How do I apply for a transfer?

You will need to fully complete and return a Joiner Questionnaire form before we will investigate any transfer.  You can download the form from here.

You should complete this form by providing the requested details in relation to any former pension schemes you wish to investigate a transfer from . This is also our mandate to allow us to approach your former pension provider.

The other purpose of the form is to highlight if you have any previous public sector pensions history. This is important information that in some cases may mean that you will be able to carry forward any protection status that you may have had in your former public sector scheme.  It is extremely important that you make us aware of any such pension service.

If you have had no previous public sector pensions then please ignore this section of the form.

If you are transferring from a pension scheme other than another teachers' pensions scheme within the UK, you are not committing yourself to a transfer by making this enquiry. We will provide you with an "estimate" of the service credit that the transfer value from your former scheme will provide in the STSS.  You will have the option to proceed with the transfer at this point and the decision is entirely yours to make.

Please note that SPPA staff are unable to provide financial advice and you should seek independent financial advice if you are not sure about your decision to transfer.

It is important to note that if you have been a member of a teachers' pension scheme elsewhere in the UK, your benefits will not transfer automatically to the STSS and the transfer must be requested from the receiving scheme.


Applying for a transfer into STSS

There are three main types of schemes which we can facilitate a transfer from:

■ teachers' pension schemes in England & Wales or Northern Ireland

■ public sector transfer arrangements (Club transfers)

■ occupational or personal pension schemes usually private sector pensions (Non - Club transfers)


1. Teachers' pension schemes in England & Wales or Northern Ireland

Transfers between Teachers schemes within the UK are not automatic and must be requested within 12 months of joining the new scheme.

There is no longer a reciprocal arrangement between Teachers Pension Schemes within the UK. This was termed the CUKS (Comparable UK Service) arrangements and as from 01/04/2015  these arrangement no longer apply.  Any transfers of service will  now be based on the PSTC (Public Sector Transfer Club).  A Club transfer will normally provide you with a broadly comparable transfer when transferring between similar schemes You should note however that these favourable transfer terms only apply if you have requested a transfer within 12 months of joining your new scheme and there is not a break of 5 years or more.

If you transferring service that you had in the Teachers pre April 2007 scheme with a normal pension age of 60 then this can only be transferred into our last open final salary scheme which has a NPA of aged 65.  You should carefully consider if you want to transfer as this will mean a change to your retirement benefits and to your retirement age as well as no automatic provision of a lump sum. 

We will provide you with an estimate of what the transfer value in your former scheme will provide with us.  The choice is entirely up to you and you may wish to seek Independent Financial Advice from a regulated IFA. You should take into consideration that there may be a set guarantee date which you will need to return any options forms.

The transfer is not binding until you return the required options forms.


2. Public Sector transfer arrangements (Club transfers)

If your previous pension scheme was within the public sector (e.g. Local Government, NHS, University staff, Armed Forces etc.), the transfer is calculated within the guidelines of the 'transfer club'.  As the transfer factors used between these schemes are the same, then most transfers calculations will provide a comparable service credit with the one you had in your previous scheme.

If you are unsure whether your former scheme participates in the Transfer Club, you should ask the former scheme for confirmation.

An explanation of the Transfer Club arrangements and a list of membership is available by clicking on the links below:

Public Sector Transfer Club

List of Clubs schemes


3. Occupational or personal pension schemes (Non Club transfers)

These include occupational pension schemes, personal pensions, stakeholder plans and buy-out policies. On receipt of the Joiner Questionnaire form we will request a transfer value from your previous provider.  The acceptance of transfers from these types of scheme is not guaranteed and depends on certain conditions. If all the relevant conditions are met, we will provide you with an estimate of the reckonable service credit this transfer value will purchase in the STSS. SPPA will inform you if we cannot accept the transfer and the reasons why.

Please do not request a transfer value directly from your former provider, SPPA will request these details on receipt of the Joiner Questionnaire form.

Some pension providers will only supply one transfer value per year.  If there is a guarantee date and the former pension providers options forms are not received by that date then they may you charge for another transfer value which can cost up to £300 or more.

SPPA will not be responsible for this charge and you will either have to pay the charge or wait a further year for a new "free" transfer value. Your current salary will be used in the calculation and this may be detrimental to the service credit you will be offered compared to a date of entry calculation.

The membership credit you receive is always dependent on the actual transfer payment received. If the actual payment we receive is lower than originally offered, even if the transfer is completed within the 12 month time limit, your membership credit will be adjusted in line with the payment

SPPA will not accept responsibility for any delays incurred either by you or your previous pension provider.


Transferring AVC Rights (Additional Voluntary Contributions)

We cannot accept transfers of AVC's to buy service in the STSS but a transfer can be made to Prudential who administer the Teachers in house AVC scheme. You may also transfer to a Free Standing Additional Voluntary Contributions arrangement of your own choice. SPPA will not accept monies in respect of AVC's. Transfers of AVC's must be arranged between yourself, the former scheme and the in house provider or provider of your choice.

You can contact the Prudential directly for more detailed information:


Teachers AVC Department




Telephone: 0845 070 2456



Contacting us:

It is our preferred option that you apply for the transfer by using the application forms available on the website as these will provide SPPA with all the necessary information to efficiently process your transfer request.

If you are unable to download the application forms or require any further information, please contact us using the details below.

Telephone: 01896 893000 asking for "Transfers" when prompted

Fax:      01896 893214

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SPPA Service

7 Tweedside Park



If you contact us by letter or email please ensure that you include the following information:

■ details of you previous pension provider including a current address

■ dates that you were a member of that scheme

■ date of birth

■ national insurance number

■ superannuation reference number (if known)

■ marital status

■ current employers' details

■ start date of current employment














Link to Scottish Government Website