I want to know more about my pension benefits
An ordinary pension is awarded immediately on retirement after completion of at least 25 years’ pensionable service. If you have 25 years’ pensionable service, you may retire on an ordinary pension paid immediately on retirement if aged 50 or over. However, if you have 30 years’ pensionable service, you may retire with an immediate pension before age 50.
You are entitled to a deferred pension if you have at least two years to count towards qualifying service, and you either:
- leave the police, or
- cease to be a member of PPS by opting out of it, without transferring your PPS rights to another pension scheme.
The deferred pension will be a proportion of your hypothetical pension – i.e. the pension you would have earned by the age of compulsory retirement, subject to the limit of the maximum ordinary pension. The size of your deferred pension will be the same proportion of your hypothetical pension as your actual pensionable service is of your hypothetical service – i.e. the pensionable service you would have accrued by the time of your compulsory retirement age, subject to a limit of maximum pension.
A deferred pension is payable from age 60. It may be paid earlier if you become permanently disabled from performing the ordinary duties of a police officer. If you leave before the age of 50 with at least 25 years service, then your deferred pension will be paid from age 50
If you have 25 years’ pensionable service, you can retire with an ordinary pension paid immediately on retirement once you reach age 50. If you have 30 years’ pensionable service, you may retire with an immediate pension before age 50. Short service pensions are paid immediately if you retire with less than 25 years’ service at what would have been the compulsory retirement age for your rank before the following new compulsory retirement ages were introduced on 1st October 2006.
From 1st October 2006, compulsory retirement ages are as follows:
- for a constable, sergeant. inspector or chief inspector, 60 years
- for an officer with any higher rank, 65 years.
Appointments to chief constable and deputy chief constable are for a fixed term. If you have been appointed for a fixed term which ends before you reach the age of 55, and your service does end before you reach age 55, you will be entitled to a deferred pension payable at age 60.
If you have completed 30 years’ pensionable service in PPS (or would have been able to if you had not opted out of PPS), your police authority may require you to retire on the grounds that your retention in the force would not be in the general interests of efficiency.
If you become permanently disabled at any age for the performance of the ordinary duties of a member of the force, your police authority may require you to retire on the grounds of ill-health.
Your pension benefits are calculated based on your average pensionable pay, which is normally your pensionable pay for your final 12 months of service. If your pensionable pay in one of the preceding two years was higher, then this will be used instead.
Average pensionable pay is always taken to be full-time pay, even if you work part-time. If you work half-time for a year, for example, your final pensionable pay for that year is the full-time rate (but you will only be able to count a half year’s pensionable service).
This is the service that counts in the calculation of your pension. This includes:-
- your current service as a regular police officer during which you have paid pension contributions or for which contributions are deemed to have been paid (e.g. any unpaid period in the first 26 weeks of maternity leave),
- earlier service in the same force, or in other Scottish police forces (again, provided that you paid pension contributions in your earlier service and that these have not been refunded to you),
- earlier service with a force in England and Wales or the Police Service of Northern Ireland, if you transferred with consent and you paid pension contributions which have not been refunded to you,
- periods of ‘relevant service’ under section 38(a) of the Police (Scotland) Act 1967 (this includes appointments to the Inspectorate of Constabulary and certain types of overseas service) during which you have paid pension contributions (officers contemplating overseas service are recommended to seek advice on the pension position before agreeing to undertake it).
If you have pension benefits in the scheme of a former employer or in a personal pension plan you may be able to transfer them into PPS. The transfer value will buy a credit of pensionable service in PPS. Your police authority has discretion to refuse a transfer if it is deemed to be insufficient to cover the cost of any Guaranteed Minimum Pension to which you may be entitled (if you had been employed in the period 1978 – 1997).
Approved part-time working is counted as pensionable service on a pro-rata basis based on actual hours worked as a proportion of full-time work. Your pension contributions are also collected on a pro-rata basis (i.e. 11% of the part-time pay).