Frequent questions: current members
As a teacher your contribution will start at 6.4 percent to a maximum of 8.8 percent of your gross salary, on which you will receive income tax relief. Your employer's contribution is equivalent to 13.6 percent of your gross salary.
|Lower Salary*||Higher Salary||Contribution Rate in 2012-13||Increase (against 2011/12 rate of 6.4%)|
No. From 1 April 2000, a member of the Northern Ireland Teachers' Pension Scheme who is in full-time employment may not contribute to the scheme from a concurrent part-time employment.
If you leave pensionable employment there are three options open to you: (a) leave your pension credit in the teachers' superannuation scheme; this is called 'preservation'; These preserved benefits increase in value each year at a rate equivalent to the Consumer Price Index (b) transfer your pension credit to another pension provider (c) if you have not qualified for benefits take a repayment of your pension contributions.
When you return to pensionable employment you may purchase additional annual pension benefits in blocks of £250 up to a maximum of £5.500 (subject to change). Should you wish to do so you may contact Teacher's Pensions for a written explanation of the costs involved.
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Yes. Provided you will not have more than 40 years pensionable service at age 60, there are three ways in which you can increase your pension by paying extra contributions.
- Purchasing additional blocks of additional pension benefits.
- Additional voluntary contributions (AVCs) with the Prudential Assurance Company.
- Free standing additional voluntary contributions (FSAVCs) payable to a company of your choice.
Your employer does not contribute towards the payment of extra contributions.
In the event of your death whether you are in or out of service, the scheme may pay pensions to widows or widowers (provided you are still legally married at the date of death), children or other dependants, as well as a death gratuity. The teachers' scheme handbook explains in more detail the benefits payable to your beneficiaries.
When you join or re-join the teachers' scheme you may apply to transfer pension credit from your previous pension scheme providing it meets HM Revenue & Customs and Department of Health and Social Security requirements. Application for transfer should be made within 12 months of entering pensionable teaching service. The amount of service credited to the teachers' scheme does not always equal that which has accrued in the previous scheme; the sum of money transferred (the Transfer Value) determines the amount of credit which it can buy in the teachers' scheme. A transfer of previous benefits can take up to six months to complete.
More information on transfer of service
Resuming teaching in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man could cause your pension to be suspended, or reduced depending on the level of earnings in your new employment. Before seeking or accepting employment you should write to Teachers' Pensions asking for your earnings limit. Employment of a type which would have been acceptable for contributing to the Teachers' Pensions Scheme (if you had not already retired) could also cause suspension or reduction of your pension.
If you have been out of pensionable employment for one month and you have not qualified for benefits you can take a repayment of your contributions. The amount you will be repaid will be the contributions you have paid into the teachers' pension scheme together with compound interest added at 3 percent per annum. Two deductions are made from the resulting amount. The first is made to pay back your entitlement in the State Second Pension (S2P). The sceond is a standard charge for tax at a flat rate.
The Department of Education has power to extend the time limits in which the application for transfer of pension rights from a previous scheme may be made. But this power is used only where there are sound reasons for doing so. Even where the time limits are extended the member may still suffer considerable loss in terms of the service in the Teachers' Pensions Scheme which the transfer value purchases.
The amount of loss depends on the difference between the person's salary and age while subject to the previous scheme and the salary and age of the member at the time the transfer value is received. The terms under which transfer values are received in schemes funded by HM Treasury are decided by the Government Actuary's Department. The Department has no scope for discretion in this matter.