Frequently asked questions
Police Pension Scheme 1987 (PPS) and New Police Pension Scheme 2006 (NPPS)
Pensionable pay includes:
- basic salary - plus any acting or temporary salary
- competence-related threshold payment
Pensionable pay does not include:
- special priority payments
- housing allowances
- dog handlers’ allowance
- south east England allowance
- reimbursements such as mileage, subsistence, overnight expenses
- transitional rent allowance
You can stop paying pension contributions at any time – this is known as opting out. You can opt in again to become a member of the New Police Pension Scheme 2006.
- If you opt out of the Police Pensions Scheme 1987 you cannot rejoin it. You may choose to opt into the New Police Pension Scheme 2006 instead.
- 30 years’ service in the Police Pension Scheme 1987, or 35 years’ service in the New Police Pension Scheme 2006 is the most you can accrue.
- If you opt out with less than two years’ membership your contributions, less a tax charge and cost of contracting in to the State Second Pension will be refunded, so long as you have not transferred service from another police force or pension scheme.
- If you have at least three months’ service but less than two years’, you can ask that a transfer value be paid to another scheme, rather than receive a refund.
- If you have two years’ or more service, pension will be based on salary when you opted out, rather than on salary when leaving service.
- You will be taxed on the extra income you receive and will pay higher National Insurance as not in a contracted-out scheme.
- Your next of kin will not receive a death grant lump sum if you die in service.
- You may have to have a medical at your own expense if you opt back in.
- When you can claim deferred benefits will depend which pension scheme you are in. Please see the previous member part of our website.
When you join the police service or rejoin after a break, you may need to have a medical examination. The same applies if you rejoin the pension scheme after opting out - in which case you may have to pay for it. If the police authority determines that the likely cost of an ill-health pension or similar benefits would be disproportionately high, you may join the scheme but will not be entitled to an ill-health pension. Your contributions would be reduced.
You must claim your pension no later than the compulsory retirement age for your rank:
- constable, sergeant, inspector or chief inspector - age 60
- officer of a higher rank – age 65
The date may be postponed. If you are of rank superintendant or below, permission must be given by the chief constable. If above the rank of superintendant, permission must be given by the police authority.
Contribution rates are different for each scheme. Please follow one of the links below to find out:
You may investigate a transfer into your police pension if you are still contributing to it which would provide extra service in the police pension scheme.
If you become disabled and are considered for ill health retirement, your level of disability is determined by a doctor. If you are unhappy with a medical decision, you may appeal to a medical referee, usually the Home Secretary. In some cases, the appeal may be made to the Crown Court, but not to question medical evidence.
The PPS and NPPS are for officers in the home forces. Police cadets and special constables have separate pension schemes.
- Police Pension Scheme - You cannot nominate a beneficiary. The lump sum would be paid to your husband, wife or civil partner if you have one, or your personal representatives otherwise.
- New Police Pension Scheme - You can nominate a beneficiary to receive the lump sum if you do not have a spouse, civil partner or nominated partner at your death. To do so, please use the Nomination or revocation of lump sum death grant form.
You do not contribute to your pension when on a career break. When you return you cannot repay contributions to count your career break as pensionable service. Therefore, you would have to work for longer to achieve maximum service.
Your pension benefits will be transferred to your new force, however, there must be no break in your service. If there is a break in service, then you will join the New Police Pension Scheme instead.