It may only be April, but you could be beginning your preparations for retirement now. The application process for retirement takes some time to process, and receiving your pension on time requires forward planning.
What are the criteria for receiving your pension?
To qualify for a pension, you need to have completed two years of service after 6th April 1988 or five years pensionable service in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme overall.
The earliest your benefits can be paid is 55 years old. There are plans to change this to 57 years old in 2028 and then keep it within 10 years of the normal pension age from this year onwards.
You may be able to claim a pension in the final salary arrangement before you claim the career average arrangement.
How do I apply for retirement?
Your pension is not paid automatically; you will need to apply. There are various application forms, depending on what retirement you are taking. You may be taking Early Retirement, Premature Retirement, Ill-health retirement, phased retirement, or normal pension age retirement.
Your application should be received no more than four months from the time of your retirement. Therefore, if July is your planned retirement month, then April is the moment the window opens for applications. Any form received before April will be ignored, as changes to your salary could impact your pension calculations.
Once you send your application, the Teachers’ Pension Scheme will acknowledge receipt and then calculate and authorise your payment. While you might be keen to receive acknowledgement of your pension, the Scheme have until the day before your payable date to process your award.
Once your award is completed, you will receive an email from the Scheme, and documents will be held in My Pension Online. You can also keep track of your award’s processing in Track My Case on the Teacher Pensions’ Scheme website.
When will I get my first payment?
Your pension payment date is the day before your birthday date. If you were born on the 7th of the month, you would receive your pension on the 6th of every month. If the first payment date is missed after your retirement date, you will receive the amount in arrears on the next payment date.
Making this change in your life can feel daunting. If you have any concerns about your award and the consequences to your lifestyle, you may wish to speak to an independent financial advisor. The Teachers’ Pension Scheme can only report facts to you and cannot offer advice, so you will need to seek independent counsel on your concerns.
The content in this article was correct on 28th March 2021. You should not rely on this article to make important financial decisions. Teachers Financial Planning offers advice on your Teachers’ Pension Scheme. Please use the contact form below to arrange an informal chat with an advisor and see how we can help you.