care about your future

In this area of the website we explain what happens if you leave the scheme before you retire.

When working how much service you have built up, remember to include any membership you have earned in the Scottish Teachers’ Superannuation Scheme. 

If you have transferred in benefits from a previous scheme you will automatically be treated as having completed more than two years’ service.

For more information please see our video on leaving the scheme.

Watch the video

I have been a member for less than three months

If you leave the scheme with less than three months' service, your only option is to take a refund of your contributions less deductions. You will have no benefits remaining in the scheme.

I have been a member for more than three months but less than two years

If you leave the scheme with more than three months service but less than two years, you will given a choice:

  • You can apply for a refund of contributions less certain deductions; or
  • You can transfer your benefits to another public service pension scheme (for example if you are taking up a post in another part of the UK).

If you think you may re-join the scheme at some point in the future, you may wish to delay claiming a refund until you have a firmer idea of your future intentions. If you do choose a refund, then you will have no further benefits remaining in the scheme.

I have been a member of the scheme for at least two years

Your will not earn any further benefits but the amount you have built up will be revalued in line with increases in the Consumer Prices Index until you retire.

Leaving the scheme while still teaching in Scotland

While membership of the scheme is automatic, it is not compulsory. You can choose to opt out at any time after joining by completing an Opt out form.

If you opt out of the scheme, if you continue to meet certain conditions, your employer will automatically re-enrol you back into the scheme in every three years.

You can re-join the scheme at any time by contacting your employer.

Before making any decision to opt out of the Teachers’ scheme, you should compare the cost of your options and the package of benefits provided by the scheme. Advice can be sought from an independent financial adviser or your professional association.

I'm thinking of taking a break

It’s important to note that if you take a break from teaching or lecturing, or your choose to opt out of the scheme, you must return to the scheme within five years if your pension is to be revalued in line with increases in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) plus 1.6%. If you do not return within five years, it will be increased by CPI alone.

Special information for former members of the STSS

If you take a breakfrom teaching or lecturing, you must return within five years in order to maintain the link to your final pensionable pay for benefits earned in this scheme.

If you have full or tapered protection you will return to the STSS (if your tapered protection has not expired) only if you return within five years.


My Pension online services

If you have question about your benefits you may be able to find the information you’re looking for instantly by viewing your details securely online. My Pension Online Access

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