You can opt out of the 2015 Scheme at any time.
If you are thinking of opting out of the scheme, we strongly recommended that you read the guidance below as well as consider taking independent financial advice before you make a decision.
You can opt out by completing our opt out form.
If you opt out in the first three months of you joining the police force, your decision is back-dated to the date you became a member of the police force.
If you decide to leave the scheme at any future date, your decision will take effect from the start of your next pay period after the receipt of your opt-out notice by your Police Pension Authority or on any later date which your Police Pension Authority considers appropriate.
If you opt out of the scheme you can rejoin if you wish. This may be subject to a medical examination, at your expense, to decide whether you will be eligible for ill-health benefits.
You will be re-admitted to the scheme at the start of your next pay period (with or without access to ill-health benefits) after the receipt of your opt-in notice by your Police Pension Authority or on any later date which your Police Pension Authority considers appropriate.
However, if you opt out within 12 months after opting in, you will not be able to opt in again until the end of that period of 12 months.
Opting out of the scheme will have a number of consequences, including:
If you build up two years or more of qualifying service and then opt out, you will be entitled only to a deferred pension. Your benefits would be payable in full from your State Pension age (SPA), or you can take a deferred pension actuarially reduced from normal minimum pension age (calculated by reference to your SPA), and any benefits in the 1987 scheme or the 2006 scheme would be payable from the age at which your deferred pension in that scheme is payable (generally 60 in the 1987 scheme and 65 in the 2006 scheme).
If you die while in service as a member of a police force but you are not a member because you have opted out (that is, you are a deferred member) you are not covered for death in service benefits, therefore, no lump sum death grant is payable. A surviving adult pension and an eligible child pension may be payable when you die.
If you are not an active member of the scheme you will not be eligible for an ill-health pension if you leave the police force because you are permanently medically unfit. If you are a deferred member who has left the police force, you may qualify for early payment of your deferred pension on grounds of ill-health if you are assessed as permanently medically unfit for any regular employment and you are eligible for ill-health benefits.
Staying an active member of the scheme has a number of significant benefits, for example:
- a public service pension remains one of the best available
- having a public service pension is a tax-efficient and an effective way to save for your retirement.
- in addition to your own contribution, your Police Pension Authority makes a significant contribution towards your pension
- you receive tax relief on your pension contributions
- the scheme provides valuable benefits for you and your family such as ill-health pensions and survivor pensions
The scheme will provide a guaranteed level of pension which is based on a fraction of your pensionable earnings for each scheme year (1/55.3) uprated each year until retirement.
Upon retirement, your earned pension is uprated by CPI in accordance with the Pensions (Increase) Act 1971.
In a Defined Contribution Pension Scheme, your pension would be of an unknown amount based on investment returns.
If you opt out of the scheme with less than 2 years’ qualifying service and you have not transferred in any service, your pension contributions will be refunded. The refund will be subject to the relevant tax rules.