Working day in day out in the classroom is an activity for the young and energetic. While older teachers bring much wisdom to the classroom, it is common for the levels of fatigue to push people to a different path. Early retirement is available from 55 years old (57 from 2028), though retiring completely might seem premature and undesirable. A person might want to plan for a different career at such a young age.
What can you do if this sounds like you, and how will it impact your pension?
What can you do instead of teaching?
There are all sorts of professions suited to the skillset of a teacher. For instance, public speaking is a natural extension to work in the classroom and all those assemblies you have taken. Teachers are trained to break down complex information and present this logically to an audience, so there is plenty of scope for a new role.
Alternatively, you might want to use your writing talents. Many publishers are looking for educational writers, and you could be essential in a strategy to deliver resources to parents and schools alike. Alternatively, you can use your high levels of literacy to build a copywriting career.
Finally, though not an exhaustive list, you could try sales. Do not underestimate your skill levels here. You have spent a career building relationship with a cool audience, warmed them up and then converted that relationship into a result, and it is the same process as selling something to a client.
What will this mean for my pension?
If you retire early and apply for your teachers’ pension, there will be a reduction in your lump sum and the benefits you receive. The payments are adjusted based on the assumption that you will be claiming the pension for longer. In the career average arrangement, you will also have put in fewer years of service than you could, which will impact the value of your benefits.
Equally, if you start work in a new career, it will impact your benefits. If you return to pensionable service within a school, whether as a teacher or as a tutor, you will likely find your pension benefits stop. You will also be expected to declare other work, which may also impact your payments. You may wish to speak to an independent advisor to explore what the consequences of working in retirement would mean for your finances.
The content in this article was correct on 31st January 2022. You should not rely on this article to make important financial decisions. Teachers Financial Planning offers advice on the teachers’ pension scheme. Please use the contact form below to arrange an informal chat with an advisor and see how we can help you.