With all that is happening in schools, it is understandable that you might be thinking of retiring. When you reach a certain length of service, having to renew the way you work makes your job too challenging for words. Therefore, you might want to leave earlier than you planned and take your pension to carry you through any transition. With this in mind, we thought we would give you a guide to when you can retire.
When you were enrolled in the Teacher Pension Scheme, you would have been allocated a normal pension age (NPA). You will see this age referenced on your My Pension Online dashboard. The age you can retire in normal conditions is dictated by several factors.
Normal Pension Age as a Protected Member
There are protected members. These are members of the scheme who remained in the final salary scheme. These teachers will have an NPA of 60 or 65, depending on when they entered service as a teacher. If, for instance, you were in service before the 1st January 2007, then your NPA is 60 but only if you had a repayment of contributions or a break in service of more than five years. For those considered protected members who joined after 2007, your normal pension age will be 65.
Normal Pension Age as a Tapered and Transition member
To complicate matters, the teachers’ pension changed in 2015 from a final salary to an average salary scheme. For some people in the profession, you will have some money in the final salary scheme and some money in the career-average scheme. You will take your final salary benefits in the same way as protected members. Your career average benefits will be available on the same date as your state pension or 65, whichever comes later.
Normal Pension Age for Career Average Scheme
Members joining the scheme after 2015 or have had a break in service, your Normal Pension Age is your state pension age or 65, whichever date comes later.
If this is depressing news, you have two choices. You can take early retirement and take a reduction on your pension payments. You can take early retirement from the age of 55 if your employers agree to your retirement. You can also choose to boost your payments to your pension using flexibilities, which will increase the amount you get should you retire early.
If you want to discuss whether you can retire early, you should talk to an independent financial adviser. The adviser will gather and present all the information to help you make your retirement plan.
The content in this article was correct on 15th September 2020. You should not rely on this article to make important financial decisions. Teachers Financial Planning offers advice on your teachers’ pension scheme, as well as financial matters in general. Please use the contact form below to arrange an informal chat with an advisor and see how we can help you.