How the scheme changed
In 2015 the Teachers Pension Scheme changed. There was just the Final Salary Arrangement, then Career Average was introduced to run alongside this. This means there are now different member types on the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. Some members will have remained on the Final Salary Scheme, while teachers who joined the profession after April 2015 will only be enrolled on the Career Average pension scheme. However, some members will have a pension in both schemes.
How will you know what member type you are?
Not all members were transitioned into the new scheme. These members received protected status. Some other members transitioned gradually into the new scheme and began contributing to the Career Average pension on a transition date, making them a tapered member. Others transitioned on the start date of the Career Average arrangement in April 2015. This means you could be a protected, tapered or transition member.
If you want to know what member type you are, you need to check out My Pension Online. Alternatively, if you know your Normal Pension Age (NPA), you can use this to work out your member type. You may also wish to find out your State Pension Age by visiting the government pension website.
If you had an NPA of 60 years old just before April 2012, were within ten years of your NPA (50 or over just before April 2012) and were an active member in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, then you are a protected member. This status means you remained in the final salary scheme. You will continue to be eligible for retirement at 60 and the benefits you and your family receive remain unchanged from what you have always understood.
If, as an active member, you have an NPA of 65 years old just before April 2012 and are within ten years of your NPA (55 or over just before April 2012), then you too will remain in the Final Salary Scheme until retirement. You will be eligible for your pension from the age of 65.
You need to keep the date of April 2012 in mind again. Here you are more than ten years away from your NPA but within 13.5 years. The NPA is 65. You are a tapered member. This means you will be given a transition date on which you began to contribute to the Career Average Scheme. This date was 1st August 2016. Up until this date, you will have contributed to a Final Salary Scheme, and after this date, you will have began to contribute to the Career Average Scheme.
You will be eligible for your Final Salary pension at the age of 65. However, NPA for the Career Average will likely be 66, as this is when you will claim your state retirement pension. If your state pension age is lower than 65, then your Career Average pension will be eligible for use from the age of 65.
If you are more than 13.5 years from your NPA, then you will have moved to the Career Average arrangement on April 1st, 2015, which is the day it came into fruition. You will have an NPA of 67.
You will, like tapered members, have built up contributions in both schemes. You will have retained the NPA for your Final Salary Scheme. You will have a new NPA for the Career Average Scheme – this will either be the age you can claim your state pension or 65, whichever is later.
The content in this article was correct on 15th July 2019. You should not rely on this article to make important financial decisions. Teachers Financial Planning offers advice on pensions for teachers and non-teachers. Please use the contact form below to arrange an informal chat with an advisor and see how we can help you.