Teacher Pensions

Its pension awareness week so here we look at some need-to-know information about teacher pensions. Pension awareness week was started to highlight that people in the UK are not saving enough for their futures. Currently in the UK, one in six are aged over 65 years. However, by 2050, one in four will be over 65years, putting pressure on the economy.

Need to knows about teacher pensions

  • Your teaching pension is based on your years of service, earnings history, and possibly your final salary, depending on when you started.
  • Contribution rates are based on your monthly earnings: from 7.4% to 10.2%, depending on how much you earn.
  • Currently the average annual pension for teachers is £9,375.
  • Your pension is calculated by multiplying your average salary by your years of service, then dividing it by 80.
  • The average age that teachers retire in the UK, is between 55 to 60 years old
  • No matter your age, it is wise to routinely check your pension details. Retrieving information from a former employer can be difficult due to several reasons. Former places of work may include schools that have closed, changed names or become academies which add barriers to getting records.
  • Always check figures as mistakes have been known to have been made before. In 2019 alone, 360,000 teachers who were due to retire, were given incorrect pension predicted figures.

How to check your pension estimate online

  • Register for ‘My Pension Online’ through the Teachers’ Pensions website. (You will need your personal details such as an email address, your National Insurance number and your Teachers’ Pensions Reference number).
  • Login to the secure portal to view and manage your pension online.
  • Check your personalised retirement benefits including your years of service and salary for each role for accuracy.
  • Check your personal details including whether you have nominated a person to receive your pension in the event of your death.
  • Do a cross reference check with a paper version of your pension statement if you have one, as they may be different.

What to do if you spot mistakes

  • Find out if the school still exists and contact them to request they check their records. Relay your information and ask them to rectify it.
  • If the school no longer exists, contact the Local authority instead.
  • If either of the above two fail, contact the Teaching Pension Scheme directly to make them aware of your situation. Provide them with as much detail as possible. They will be able to make checks and find inconsistencies with your employment contributions.
  • Follow-up and check that any corrections have been made online and that it tallies with your paper version of your pension forecast.