What happens to my pension if I leave or opt out?

Opting Out

You can opt out of NPPS at any time by completing and returning an option form available from your force's pensions administrator.  If you opt out in the first three months of your police service, your decision is back-dated to the date of your becoming a regular police officer.  If you decide to leave NPPS at any other future date, your decision will take effect from your next pay day after receipt of your notice to opt out.

Opting out of NPPS will have a number of consequences, including:

    • if you build up two years or more pensionable service in NPPS and then opt out, you will be entitled only to a deferred pension, which would generally only be payable from age 65,
    • if you die in service when you have opted out of NPPS, no lump sum death grant is payable,
    • as someone who is not an active member of NPPS you will not be eligible for an ill-health pension if you are medically retired, although you will qualify for early payment of your deferred pension if you are assessed as permanently disabled for all regular employment.

If you opt out of NPPS with less than two years’ qualifying service, your pension contributions will be refunded.

If you are thinking of opting out of NPPS, you are strongly recommended to take independent financial advice before you make a decision.


If you opt out of NPPS, you will be able to rejoin.  However, you may need to undergo a medical examination at your expense to determine whether you will be eligible for ill-health benefits.  If you opt out of NPPS a second time, you cannot rejoin again.


If you leave employment with the Police Service before pension age, you have a choice of options for your pension benefits.  Your choice will depend on the length of your qualifying service.

If your police service plus any linked qualifying service amounts to more than three months but less than two years, you can either transfer out your PPS pension rights to another pension scheme, or receive a refund of your contributions.

If your police service plus any linked qualifying service amounts to two years or more you can either transfer your PPS rights to another pension scheme, or retain deferred benefits within the PPS.  Please see the sections on Transfers and Pension Benefits for more details.


Link to Scottish Government Website