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Scottish Parliamentary Pensions Act 2009

Rule 21: MSP members

89.Rule 21 provides that every serving MSP under age 75 is automatically a participating member of the pension scheme as an “MSP member”, unless the MSP opts out (see rule 23 for the MSP opt-out).

90.On reaching age 75, individuals no longer qualify for tax relief in relation to pension scheme membership available under the Finance Act 2004. At that age serving MSPs are excluded from participating membership and cease to make contributions. Their pension rights are frozen in that they do not accrue further reckonable service and their pension becomes payable only when they cease to be an MSP (see Part F). Other rights in relation to commutation for a lump sum and death benefits are covered at Parts G and K.

91.Under rule 30, an MSP member stops making scheme member contributions from their salary when they obtain sufficient reckonable service as an MSP to entitle them to the maximum annual MSP pension. The figure takes into account the salary of an MSP, office-holder or the aggregate of both. A serving MSP excused from making contributions from their salary as they have reached the limit of their annual MSP pension cap remains a “participating member” in terms of this rule.

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Text created by the Scottish Executive department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills

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