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Pensions in England

Pensions Health Check Warning 

Teachers will be aware that this is a time of turbulent pensions reform, involving Government attacks on working people’s pensions. This does not just affect teachers and other public service workers’ pensions, but also state and private pensions. 

The NASUWT has become aware of organisations purporting to offer teachers advice on retirement planning, including individual financial advice, which seek to exploit the uncertainties and anxieties which teachers feel. In some cases, teachers can pay very high fees for such advice.

The NASUWT is able to offer the following services to members:

- Free general information about changes to the teachers’ pension scheme, including to members’ overall pension benefits;

- Individual free casework and legal support when problems with Teachers’ Pensions occur.

The Financial Services Act prevents trade unions from providing individual financial advice. However, the NASUWT is in partnership with Wesleyan, a non-profit making organisation, which is able to give free, independent financial advice. Wesleyan also organises free ‘planning for retirement’ seminars.’


You are automatically entered into the Teachers' Pension Scheme (new window) if you are a teacher in eligible employment between the ages of 18 and 75. The Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) is a contributory, defined benefit ‘final salary’ scheme administered by Teachers’ Pension (TP) for the Department for Education (DfE). It is one of the most important and valuable benefits available to teachers.

The TPS is contracted-out of the State Second Pension (S2P) and guarantees to pay benefits which are at least as high as those the state would pay. Although you will be contracted out of S2P you will receive a Basic State Pension in addition to your teacher’s pension.

You can opt out of the teachers’ Scheme in order to make your own pension arrangements but you should think very carefully about the valuable benefits of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme before doing so.

If you need general information about the Teachers' Pension Scheme, the most comprehensive source is the Teachers' Pensions website (new window).

Following a Review of the Scheme in 2006, agreement was reached between Government, employers and the NASUWT and other teacher unions on a number of changes to the scheme with effect from 1 January 2007, including a new benefit structure for new entrants. 

In March 2012, the government announced its final proposals on changes to the Teachers' Pensions Scheme to be introduced from April 2015.

In September 2012 the government published its Pensions Bill to secure the implementation of reforms to all public sector pensions schemes. The NASUWT, together with the NUT, UCU and UCAC (unions representing around 95% of members of the Teachers' Pensions Scheme) have rejected the government's proposals and will be campaigning together to seek to secure changes.

For further details about why NASUWT has rejected government proposals go to Pensions Latest. See also the Union's commentary on the latest DfE statement on the Reform of the Teachers' Pension Scheme

Independent financial guidance prepared for NASUWT members on Adding to your Pension relates to adding to your teachers’ occupational pension benefits.

Independent financial guidance on options for those already contributing to the teachers’ additional voluntary contribution scheme is also provided in the publication Options for those currently contributing to the Prudential AVC facility: independent financial guidance.

The NASUWT also produce advice to members on Protecting your pension benefits on leaving service.


Local Government Pension Scheme

If you are a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme (new window) (LGPS) in England the LGPS provide details of the provisions and benefits (new window) available.

State Pension Benefits

If you need information about your State Pension Benefits (new window), including an On-line Pensions Forecast (new window) of your State Pension, the most reliable source is the Pensions Service (new window) website.

There is a whole range of help and advice on state pensions and other state benefits available in the UK on the Department for Work and Pensions (new window) website.


Championing Public Sector Pensions

The Teachers' Pension Scheme represents one of the most valuable elements of the teachers' remuneration package in England and Wales

Information on the value of teachers' pension benefits and arguments in defence of public sector pensions in general can be found in Championing Public Sector Pensions.

The Independent Public Service Pensions Commission, Chaired by Lord Hutton, published its Final Report in March 2011 on the reform of public service pension provision. Details of the Commission and its Report can be found in the Championing Public Sector Pensions page, above, and the NASUWT has produced its its own Commentary on the Commission Report Recommendations.

Survivor benefits

The Coalition Government has published a review of the survivor benefits in occupational pension schemes, including the teachers' scheme. The NASUWT has expressed disappointment at the review which fails to recommend action to rectify the current inequality in public sector pensions which means that women and LGBT workers are not entitled to the same survivors benefits as men.

More information about the issue, including the NASUWT's consultation response to the Government review and a Powerpoint presentation on the Union's campaign for pensions equality can be found on the survivor benefits page

Pension Consultation Responses

As and when necessary the Union responds to Government and other consultation exercises of particular relevance to the NASUWT and its members. There is a page containing copies of recent NASUWT Consultation Responses in the area of Pensions.

Important announcement for retired members living in Cyprus

Members of the Teachers' Pension Scheme residing in Cyprus should note the announcement for retired members living in Cyprus which contains important information and advice on their pension payments.

Further Pensions Information

Further advice on specific pension issues is available by clicking the appropriate link in the menus on the right hand side of this page.

Members needing further information or assistance should contact their Regional Centre.