Your Pension for Life

At the North East Scotland Pension Fund (NESPF), we try to make easing into retirement as smooth as possible for our 76,000 members. For many of our members, their NESPF pension will be with them through the various stages of life, from being an active member paying in to the scheme, as a deferred member if they stop work or change role, all the way to being paid their pension in retirement.

The NESPF understands that life is rarely linear and changes, both unexpected and planned can crop up along the way – that is why we offer flexibility and a range of benefits to cover various situations.

Financial Changes - Paying More or Paying Less

You have the ability to pay more or less towards your pension depending on your personal circumstances. If you have been considering leaving the scheme for cost saving reasons, our 50/50 option allows you to pay half the contributions and build up half the pension. This offers the best of both worlds – you can continue saving for your future whilst also minimising your outgoings.

Just like you have the option to pay less into your pension, you are also able to pay more if you wish to top it up. Paying in more will allow you to enjoy more pension in the future. There are two flexible ways to increase your pension:

  • Additional Pension Contributions (APCs)
  • Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs)

To find out more about contributions and paying more or less, click here.

Changes at Work - Absence or Leave

With the average person having multiple jobs throughout their lifetime, the NESPF realises you may not be in the same role forever and changing job will have pension implications.

If you leave your job, take time off or change contract, your pension may be affected in different ways. If you are absent from work, depending on the circumstances, you may continue to pay pension contributions. You will continue to pay your basic pension contributions on any pay that you receive while you are off sick. You will also continue to pay your basic pension contributions on any pay that you receive while you are off on relevant child related leave.

If you leave your job or opt out of the pension scheme before your pension can be paid, what you can do with your pension will depend on how long you have been a member and if you have any other LGPS pensions. You could:

  • Get a refund of your contributions, or
  • Transfer your pension to another provider, or
  • Leave your pension with us until it can be paid to you - this is known as "Deferred" pension benefits.

We will always advise you of your options when you leave.

Financial Support for Loved Ones

It’s never nice to think about leaving loved ones behind, but should the worse happen, there is financial support available.

If you die while in service, a tax-free lump sum worth 3 times your pay, is payable. This is known as a Death Grant. You can choose who you would like to receive this grant by updating your nominations online via My Pension+ or by completing the “Death Grant Nomination” form on our website.

A survivor’s pension is also payable to your spouse, civil partner or eligible co-habiting partner and any eligible children in the event of your death. Even if you leave and defer your pension with us, or you retire, your loved ones would still be entitled to a death grant and survivor’s pension, however these are calculated differently.


If you are getting divorced or you are separating from a partner, your pension can be impacted if it is included as part of a settlement. In these cases, part of your pension may be allocated to your ex, reducing the amount of pension paid to you.

In a divorce, your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner will no longer be entitled to a survivor's pension should you die before them. However if you have previously nominated them to receive the death grant payable upon your death, you should update your nominations. You can do this online via your My Pension+ account or by completing and returning the “Death Grant Nomination” form.

Any children's pension payable in the event of your death will not be affected by your divorce/dissolution. More details on pensions and divorce can be found here.

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