Headlines: September 20th, 2004

Teachers, lecturers and their employers are being asked for their views on various options for changes to their pension scheme. The consultation has been launched by the Department for Education and Skills as part of a review of the Teachers’ Pensions Scheme (TPS) being carried out to identify ways in which it could be modernised.The aim of the review is to find ways to give teachers and lecturers greater choice and flexibility in the way they plan and save for retirement, and to ensure the long-term affordability of the scheme.

The Government wants feedback from teachers, lecturers and employers on a range of issues including the options members might welcome to manage their transition from work to retirement. They are being asked, for example, if they want the ability to draw some of their pension while continuing to work part time, how much of their pension they would want to be able to draw as a lump sum and whether they would like the ability to increase the lump sum with a reduced annual pension, or take a smaller sum and have a higher annual pension. They will also be asked for their views on the possibility of paying additional contributions to increase their pension benefits.

School Standards Minister David Miliband said the objective was to ensure teachers’ pensions were secure and attractive and the aim of the consultation was to increase the choices and flexibility available to individual members.