1. About the SPPA

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Information about the Agency, who we are, where to find us, how to contact us, how we are managed and our external relations.


1.1 General Information

Name, address and contact details

Scottish Public Pensions Agency
7 Tweedside Park
Telephone: 01896 893000
Business opening hours
9:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday-Thursday
9:00 am – 4:30 pm Friday

Organisational structure, roles and responsibilities of senior officers

The Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA) is an Agency of the Scottish Government. Its principal role is to administer the pensions for employees of the National Health Service, Teachers', Police and Firefighters' schemes in Scotland.

The Agency also has responsibility for providing policy advice to Ministers on public sector pensions for these schemes and also for Local Government; for developing the regulations for each of these schemes; and for determining appeals made by members of these schemes. It also provides a pension calculation service for the Legal Aid Board for Scotland and the Scottish Parliament.

Chief Executive: Penelope Cooper

The SPPA comprises of four Directorates:

Customer Services:

Employs the majority of the Agency's workforce and deals with the administration of pensions for members of the NHS, Teacher, Firefighter and Police schemes. Further Details

Interim Head of Customer Services: Carole Johnston

Corporate Services:

Covers the functions of  Human Resources, Corporate Training, IT, Procurement, Corporate Communications, Security and Facilities Management. Further Details

Head of Corporate Services:


The role of Policy Branch is to prepare, in accordance with the policies of the UK Government and the Scottish Government, the regulations that govern the public service pension schemes, and associated arrangements, for which the Scottish Ministers have regulatory responsibility. Further Details

Interim Head of Policy: Lorimer Mackenzie


The Finance Directorate comprises of two teams, which deal with Agency Administration (running costs) and Scheme Administration (the pension schemes). Further Details

Head of Finance: Ian Waugh


Contact details for customer care and complaints functions

Carole Johnston
Interim Head of Customer Services
Scottish Public Pensions Agency
7 Tweedside Park
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Publication scheme and guide to information

We have prepared our publication scheme as a guide to information, as per the best practice encouraged by the Scottish Information Commissioner. Further information


Charging schedule for published information

All information contained in this publication scheme is available from us free of charge where it can be downloaded from our website ( or where it can be sent to you electronically by email. If you do not have access to the internet and a printer, you can request a single print-out of a document free of charge from us or hard copy publications may be available subject to a charge (see the section below).

Information and advice which is specifically published for the general public, such as public information leaflets and advice on changes to the law will be available for free in multiple copies of printed form, with copies also available to download free of charge from our website.


Information available on payment of a charge

Requests for multiple print-outs of material on the website or for multiple hard copies may attract a charge for the cost of printing and/or photocopying and the postage costs of sending the information by first class post. Where charges are to be applied for multiple print-outs and/or photocopies, these will be charged at 10p per A4 side of paper (black and white copy) and 30p per A4 side of paper (colour copy).

Where either single or multiple print-outs or photocopies are not sufficient, hard copy publications may be available but may be charged at a cover price (which will depend on the format and type of document) or incur costs for printing. Postage and packaging costs may also be charged, as charged by our mail provider.

In the event a charge is to be levied, you will be advised of the charge and how it has been calculated. Information will not be provided to you until payment has been received.

Under the Disability Discrimination Act we have a duty to provide services, including making information physically accessible when providing it. This may for example involve producing it in a larger script or different format where it is practicable to do so. The costs of this will be met by the SPPA.


Freedom of Information Upper Cost Limit

Section 12(1) of FOISA provides that the SPPA, as a Scottish Public Authority, is not obliged to respond to a request if it estimates that the cost of complying with the request would exceed £600.

The SPPA may make a charge for information between specified limits (Fees regulations made under section 9(4)) but cannot charge for the first £100 of costs.


Charging schedule for environmental information provided in response to requests under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004

The SPPA may only charge for the supply of information in accordance with the costs detailed above. Unlike requests made under FOISA, EIRs don't have an upper or lower cost limit (subject to regulation 10(4)(b)).


Contact details and advice about how to request information from the authority

Head of Corporate Services
Scottish Public Pensions Agency
7 Tweedside Park
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1.2 Constitution

Legal framework for the SPPA, including constitution, articles of association or charter

Details can be found within the SPPA's Framework Document and Corporate Plan.

1.3 How the SPPA is run

Governance structure, Board, Committees and other decision making structures

Chief Executive:  Penelope Cooper
Interim Head of Customer Services:  Carole Johnston
Head of Corporate Services:  
Interim Head of Policy:  Lorimer Mackenzie
Head of Finance:  Ian Waugh
Non-Executive Board Members:  Gillian Thompson (Chair)
 Stuart Smith
 Sheena Cowan
 Liz Holmes

Governance policies, including standing orders, code of conduct and register of interests

Civil Servants employed by the SPPA are bound by the provisions of the Civil Service Code and are expected to perform their duties with honesty and impartiality. The following links provide information on the standards expected in terms of codes of conduct.

1.4 Corporate planning

Mission statement

The SPPA is a national centre of excellence for pensions administration and policy expertise. Its aim is to continuously deliver a high quality, responsive and cost-effective service for its customers.


Corporate policies e.g. health and safety, equality, sustainability

The SPPA applies the Scottish Government's Health and Safety Management Systems and procedures and we have a Health and Safety Committee, as well as trained Health and Safety Liaison Officers to provide support services and advice to staff. We work in partnership with Trade Union representatives to address any safety issues and help to encourage a pro-active safety culture.

We are committed to improving environmental performance as part of our wider commitment to sustainable development. Full details can be found within the Corporate Social Responsibility section of the Annual Report and Accounts.

The Agency is an equal opportunities employer. Policies are in place to guard against discrimination and aim to ensure that there are no unfair or illegal discriminatory barriers to employment or advancement in the Agency.

We promote the legal requirement to promote race equality set out in the Race Relations Act (as amended). As an Agency of the Scottish Government we fully subscribe to the Government's Race Equality Scheme and we continue to develop structures and systems to ensure that equality becomes an integral part of our thinking and behaviour.

Further details can be found via the Scottish Government's A-Z Guide to information.


1.5 External relations

Accountability relationships, including reports to regulators

Accounts are audited by Audit Scotland. Internal audit services are provided by the Scottish Government internal audit department.


Internal and external audit arrangements

Corporate Governance is underlined by a number of key principles which include:

    • integrity and accessibility of financial information;
    • auditor independence;
    • management responsibility; and
    • Sound processes of internal control.

The Agency shares the Scottish Executive Accounting System (SEAS), and information from this system is available directly to the Scottish Government.

The Agency has a clearly defined governance structure:

    • The Senior Leadership Team (comprising the Executive Directors);
    • The Corporate Board (which includes Non-Executive Directors);
    • The Audit and Risk Committee (which comprises three non-executive members);
    • Allocation of specified areas of responsibility to each Executive Director;
    • Sound project management and project sponsorship disciplines; and
    • The on-going review of processes to ensure best practice.

Internal control is ensured through:

    • planning procedures to ensure that future work is aligned to Government policy and the Agency's strategic direction;
    • clear capital investment control mechanisms;
    • sound project management and project sponsorship disciplines; and
    • sound asset management processes including management of our property.

The Agency operates a formal risk management procedure to ensure that all risks to our business are identified and receive focussed management attention at the appropriate level. The Risk Governance Group identifies and reports the key strategic risks to the Corporate Board and Agency's Audit and Risk Committee. These risks are linked to key objectives in the annual operating plan/corporate plan.

The Agency's Directors identify and evaluate risk when they prepare and monitor their directorate business plans. Project Managers ensure that risks are identified when preparing project plans. Risk is ,therefore, a standard agenda item in many areas of the Agency.


Subsidiary companies (wholly and part owned) and other significant financial interests

The SPPA does not own or part own any subsidiary companies or have other financial interests.


Strategic agreements with other bodies

National Fraud Initiative

Link to Scottish Government Website