Joining the Scottish Teachers' Superannuation Scheme (STSS)
As a member of the teaching profession in Scotland, your employer has automatically included you in the STSS.
The STSS is a defined benefit scheme and an important and valuable staff benefit for people working in the teaching profession. Being a member of the STSS is one of the ways in which you can prepare financially for your retirement. Both you and your employer (who makes a substantial payment) contribute towards the cost of your pension. All deductions are subject to tax relief and are taken monthly, direct from your salary, by your payroll department. These contributions are submitted to SPPA. Please use this link to view current contribution rates
Your employer may provide you with a copy of the members guide, however, it can also be accessed through our website. If, after reading the information, you do not wish to be a member of the scheme you can opt out by completing an Opt Out form. You can access this here.
You should note that after the introduction of the statutory Automatic Enrolment provisions, if you opt out of the scheme, your employer will automatically re-enrol you back into the scheme every three years.
Before opting out, you should note the benefits available to members of the scheme:
■ when you have accrued two years membership, you will become entitled to an index linked pension at normal pension age which guarantees a regular monthly income after you retire
■ if you were a member of the scheme prior to 1 April 2007, you will automatically receive a lump sum
■ when you retire you will have the option to exchange part of your pension for a tax free lump sum
■ on joining, you may be able to transfer in pension credit from another scheme (this must be done within 12 months of joining the scheme)
■ you will have the option to purchase additional pension by paying extra contributions which can be deducted along with your regular contributions or paid as a lump sum
■ if you become too ill to teach, you may apply to receive your pension early and could receive benefits based on the service accrued to ill health retirement or, if your ability to carry out any work is impaired by more than 90% and is likely permanently to be so, you would receive enhanced benefits
■ should you die before you retire, a death grant of three times pensionable pay will be paid to your legal spouse, registered civil partner or nominated beneficiary
■ you have the facility to nominate who you would like any lump sum or pension payable to go to, in the event of your death
■ you can provide benefits for your family and other dependants after your retire or if you die before retirement
■ if you leave teaching employment before you retire, there are options available to you such as transferring to another scheme, preserving the benefits accrued until your
normal pension age or receiving a refund of your contributions if you have less than two years' service
■ you can also choose to top up your pension with Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC) from our recommended in house provider (see over for further information).
Details on transferring in and out, purchasing additional pension, nominating for death benefits and more can be obtained from our website or alternatively you can contact us on 01896 893 000 or by writing to:
Scottish Public Pensions Agency
7 Tweedside Park
Teachers' Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) from the Prudential
AVCs are a great way to top up the tax free lump sum and pension from your main Scottish Teachers' Superannuation Scheme (STSS).
Whether you are already a member, or are thinking about joining, here are six good reasons to choose Teachers' AVCs.
■ Prudential have been working closely with STSS since 1989
■ your contributions will qualify for tax relief
■ your contributions are paid direct from your salary with immediate tax relief so no need for complicated tax forms
■ stop, start, increase or decrease your contributions at any time
■ you can choose where to invest from our wide range of largely tax free funds
■ you can choose how you want your benefits and receive up to 25% of your pension fund as a tax free lump sum
For further information please call Prudential on 0845 070 0007, quoting reference number 000632. They will be happy to help and can even complete all the paperwork over the telephone. Lines are open between 9am and 7pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays. Calls are charged at local call rates.
The value of tax savings will depend on individual circumstances and all tax rules may change in the future.
Members of the STSS may opt to purchase AVCs from either the Prudential (the in house provider) or alternatively select any other AVC provider. Advice should be obtained from an independent financial adviser before making a commitment.