Police and Firefighters Survivors' Pensions

Monday, 05 October 2015 08:38

The Scottish Government has announced a change to the pensions paid to the survivors of police officers and firefighters who are killed in the line of duty.

Although the 2006 and 2015 police and firefighter schemes allow for lifetime adult survivor pension awards, pensions paid to widows, widowers and civil partners under the 1987 Police and 1992 Firefighter pension scheme regulations are withdrawn on remarriage, registering for a civil partnership and in the case of the police scheme, cohabitation.

Read more: Police and Firefighters Survivors' Pensions


The Pension Ombudsman published his final determination on the case Milne vs. the Government Actuary's Department on 15th May 2015.

The Scottish Government notes the Pensions Ombudsman's decision. The Scottish Public Pensions Agency took immediate steps to meet the scheme's obligations to Mr Milne following that decision.

The Scottish Government is considering the wider implications of this judgement and will work closely with the UK Government to ensure that similarly affected retired fire-fighters and police officers are put in the financial position they ought to be in as soon as possible.

This is a complex issue which is likely to take some time to resolve. Those affected by this decision should be in no doubt that the Scottish Government is committed to making sure that people receive the pension payments they are entitled to, in full and as soon as possible.

Budget Announcement

The Budget announcement on the 19 March 2014 commenced a consultation on Freedom and Choice in Pensions.

The consultation sets out greater flexibility around the funds under a Defined Contribution pension when the individual concerned wishes to retire. Currently  for these type of schemes legislation requires the member to invest in an annuity to purchase a pension going forward from retirement. The proposed greater flexibility applies to Defined Contribution schemes only. The consultation proposes a restriction on the ability of Defined Benefit  public service pension schemes (which includes the Police schemes in Scotland)  to transfer their benefits to Defined Contribution schemes.

The consultation is also considering increasing to age 57 from 2028 the national minimum pension age which reflects the minimum age a pension can be taken for tax purposes. The current national minimum pension age is 55.

The consultation runs until June 2014. You can find further details at:


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Link to Scottish Government Website