The Teachers Pension is a Defined Benefits pension scheme which can be based on Final Salary, Career Average or both.

It is a very valuable benefit and we would almost always recommend that you are opted into the scheme.

There are currently three versions of the teachers’ pension scheme depending on your date of birth, when you started making your contributions and if you have had any significant breaks in service which bridged the first changes in 2007.

For members who joined the Teachers Pension Scheme before 2007, they will have joined the 80th scheme that has a normal retirement age of 60 and a lump sum equal to 3 times the pension.

For members who joined the Teachers Pension Scheme after the 31st of December 2006 but before the 1st of April 2015 they will have joined the 60th scheme that has a normal retirement age of 65 and no automatic lump sum.

Protected member – If you are a member who was active paying into the teachers’ pension before 1 April 2012 and were within 10 years of your normal pension age in the final salary arrangement on that date. You will still be in the respective final salary version of the teachers’ pension.

Tapered member – If you are a member who was contributing to the teachers’ pension immediately before 1 April 2012 and were within a further 3.5 years of your normal pension age in the final salary arrangement on that date. You will remain in final salary for a tapered period of time until you then move into career average on your “transition date”.

Transition member – All other existing members entered the career average pension on the 1st of April 2015.

New starters – Join the career average scheme.

Pensioner and deferred members are not affected by the changes unless you take up further employment.

You can currently retire from aged 55 onwards although this age will be increasing in the future to 57.

If you want to retire earlier than your normal retirement age of 60 or 65 or State Pension age for the Career Average Scheme an actuarial reduction will be applied to your teachers’ pension, the size of the reduction will depend on how early you want to take benefits.