What is the Teachers' Pensions Scheme?
People committed to helping the nation’s children learn in the best possible environment are entitled to expect a decent pension. Those working tirelessly in education have access to the Teachers' Pensions Scheme.
This is a type of pension scheme that pays you an income in retirement which is based upon your earnings over your career.
But major changes to the Teachers' Pensions Scheme came into effect on 1 April 2015, and how much you'll get when you finally come to claim your pension will depend on when you joined the scheme.
This guide explains what you need to know about the Teachers' Pensions Scheme - from how much you'll need to pay in, and worked examples which show what you can expect to get when you retire.
Which Teachers' Pensions Schemes apply to me?
The type of Teachers' Pension Scheme - and how much you'll end up getting in retirement - depends on when you joined the scheme and how far away from retirement you were when changes to the scheme were introduced in 2015.
These dates will determine whether or not your eventual pension will be based on your final salary, or on your career average earnings (the latter of which is less generous).
Some people who used to be in the final salary scheme have been moved into the career average arrangement
Not all members moved to the career average scheme as different arrangements were put in place for those closest to retirement - called your 'normal pension age'. We've explained this further on.
The arrangements are as follows:
How much do I contribute into the Teachers' Pension Scheme?
Both full-time and part-time workers pay a percentage of their gross salary into their pension each month. This is topped up by employer contributions and you’ll receive pension tax relief on your contributions.
The pension contribution rates for 2020-21 are detailed below:
Teachers Pension contribution rates
|Salary range||Contribution rate|
When you can collect your Teachers' pension?
The age at which you get to access your pension, called your 'normal pension age', depends on which arrangement or arrangements cover you.
Protected members, those who remain in the final salary scheme, will have a normal pension age of 60 or 65, depending on when they entered pensionable service:
- If you were in service before 1 January 2007 your final salary normal pension age will be 60
- This only applies if haven’t had a repayment of contributions, transferred out or had a break of more than five years.
- For those entering pensionable service after 1 January 2007, your final salary normal pension age will be 65.
Tapered and transition members, who will have benefits in the final salary and career average schemes, will have more than one pension age.
- The pension age for your final salary benefits is as described above.
- Your pension age for your career average benefits is either your state pension age or 65, whichever is the later date.
New members, who are only in the career average scheme, have a pension age of either your state pension age or 65, whichever is the later date.
How much does the Teachers' Pension Scheme pay?
What happens to my Teachers' Pension if I have a break in service?
It depends when the break was and which scheme you were covered under.
If you were a final salary member with an normal pension age of 60, and had a break in service of more than five years with a return date on or after 1 January 2007, your pension age remains at 60 for the service before the break.
It is 65 for the service after the break.
If you’re a protected or tapered member and have a break in service of more than five years, you’ll enter the career average arrangement when you return to pensionable service.