Some General Points
This section covers a few items of general interest about the scheme and your pension.
Superannuation Scheme Fund
The Scottish Teachers' Superannuation Scheme does not have a pension fund but, as a statutory scheme, benefits are fully guaranteed by the Government. Contributions from both members and employers are paid to the Exchequer which meets the cost of scheme benefits. The Exchequer also pays for the cost of increasing benefits each year by the rate of inflation. This extra cost is not met by contributions from scheme members and employers.
The Scottish Public Pensions Agency is an Agency of the Scottish Government.
The rules of the Scottish Teachers' Superannuation Scheme are laid down in regulations agreed by Parliament. They are the Teachers Superannuation Scheme (Scotland) Regulations 2005 as amended. If you wish to see the regulations, you should ask your employer.
The SPPA holds information about each scheme member on computer. In terms of the Data Protection Act 1998, you have the right to request and be given a copy of all the computerised information held about you. There will be a charge for this.
Disclosure of Information
Under the Occupational Pension Schemes (Disclosure of Information) Regulations 1996 as amended, pension schemes such as the NHS Superannuation Scheme must provide you with certain information. This booklet includes the general information which we must provide, but you are also entitled to ask us for further information about your own circumstances. For example:
- details of what your scheme benefits are likely to be when you retire;
- the rights and options available to you if you decide to end your pensionable employment before normal pension age;
- an estimate of the amount of the transfer value you could expect on leaving the scheme (and information on how it is calculated); and
- an estimate of any refund of contributions that might be due if you left the scheme.
Pensions Scheme Registrar
Information about the scheme has been given to the Pensions Scheme Registrar under the management of the Pensions Regulator. The address for the Pensions Scheme Registrar is:
P0 Box 1NN
Telephone: 0191 225 6394
The Registrar's main responsibility is to provide a tracing service for ex members of pension schemes who have pension entitlements and who have lost touch with their former employer.
Independent Financial Advice
If you are in any doubt which pension arrangement will be the best one for you, you should seek independent financial advice. Under the Financial Services Act of 2000 all financial advisers have to decide whether to be 'independent' or 'tied'. A financial adviser who is independent can offer a range of financial services and products, whereas a financial adviser who is tied can only offer the products of one company. Before you ask for advice, make sure you know which type of adviser you are dealing with.
Most financial advisers will charge for their advice. The charge may be in the form of a fee payable by you or commission payable by any company which you decide to invest in. If the adviser you choose charges on a commission basis, you should ask how your investments will be affected by the charges.
Your employer may be able to help you find a source of independent financial advice, or you can contact FCA:
Financial Conduct Authority
25 The North Colonnade
Telephone: 0300 500 0597
If you need more information, your employer will be able to help you.