Important Changes To Teachers’ Pension Scheme

Important Changes To Teachers’ Pension Scheme

The Teachers’ Pension Scheme is changing from April 1st 2015, which will see the introduction of the new schemes, including the new Career Average Scheme.

Some members will not be affected, whilst others will start to have their benefits calculated over the current and new arrangements.  

The changes are a result of the introduction of the Career Average Scheme, those remaining on the old scheme are not subject to any of the changes.  

Those who start on, or are moved on to the Career Average Scheme will see changes to the pay elements included in the Pensionable pay calculation, part time staff will be banded on actual pay from April 2015. These members will have the right to “purchase” flexibilities to enhance their pension pot or allow them to retire before their normal pension age without their benefits being reduced.

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From the 1st April, staff members will be affected by the following:

Full Protection

Action members within 10 years of Normal Pension Age (NPA) at the 1st April 2012, will remain in the current Final Salary Scheme

Tapered Protection

Tapered Protection for members within a further 3.5 years of their NPA, remain in the Final Salary Scheme until a later date, then move into a Career Average Scheme.

Transition Members

Other existing members enter Career Average on the 1st April 2015.

New Starters

Join the Career Average Scheme on entry.

We have tailored the presentation from Teachers Pensions, to make it more digestible (taken it from 124 slides to 50), to ensure you have the main elements of the changes and have attached it to this bulletin.  This can also be given to staff in the TP scheme to provide an update of what changes are occurring.

To ensure that the relevant changes are made to the payroll records we will require information, made available by Teachers' Pension to the employer, to be sent to us by Schools/Academies, as we do not have access to the employer level reporting.

Scheme Arrangements Report - Pre April 2015

TPS previously told employers about the Scheme Arrangements Report, which will tell you which arrangement each member will be in from 1 April 2015. You should have received your report during February, a ‘final cut’ report will be made available by TP on Friday 13th March 2015, which may be passed to you from the LA if you are a community/maintained school. If not a community/maintained school, please check the Teachers' Pension Employer Portal for this report. 

The information provided will be vital and will enable you to advise your employees which member type they are. In addition, Strictly Education require a copy of this report to ensure that we have members’ records setup correctly from April 2015. We therefore require this information by Friday 27th March to ensure the relevant changes are carried out.

We have recently sent communications to all of the Local Authorities (LA) we deal with, requesting a copy of the report for schools we administer payroll for where the LA are the employer (Community/Maintained), to be sent to us direct, removing the need for you to pass across.  However, should you receive a copy of this information from the LA, please forward this to your Payroll Officer as we cannot guarantee that the LA will send this information directly to us.

Academies and Non-LA schools should be able to access the Scheme Arrangement Report via the Employer Portal, a copy will need to be forwarded to your Payroll Officer as a matter of urgency.

Monthly Changes Report - Post April 2015

On the 1st of the month from May 2015 to May 2022, a Monthly Changes Report will be available on the TP Employer Portal to be picked up by non LA schools, or to be passed to Strictly Education or the schools from the LA.  This report will detail those staff members whose scheme arrangement is due to change the following month. 

A copy of this will need to be forwarded to your Payroll Officer each month, to ensure that we update our records accordingly.

New Starters - Post April 2015It is the School/Academies responsibility to advise the type of member a new employee is categorised as (Teachers Only). 

A member search can be carried out on the TP Employer hub for existing teachers which will provide the information required. 

A teacher with no prior Teacher's Pension membership may have a linked pension. You will need to seek confirmation from the teacher upon appointment, if this is the case. Where this information is not provided we will default contractual enrolment in to the Career Average TP Scheme.

Flexibilities - Post April 2015 

Members in the Career Average Scheme can purchase "Flexibilities" by paying additional contributions to TP.  There is a window of opportunity where the member submits a request to TP who will then advise the employer (on a monthly/annual basis) of the changes required to the member’s monthly contributions. If a member joins the Career Average Scheme, they have one month from joining to apply for "Faster Accrual" in that year.

Member’s wishing to purchase the "Buy Out" flexibility must make an election within 6 months of entering the Career Average Scheme. 

You must inform TP of starters and leavers when they occur, as otherwise members may be incorrectly allowed to continue with a purchase or have one stopped in error.

A copy of the election information will need to be forwarded to your Payroll Officer to ensure that we update our records accordingly.

Overtime - Post April 2015 

Please note that from the 1st April 2015, overtime will now be pensionable for New and Transition Members, but Protected and Tapered Members should not have overtime pensioned, although it is still to be recorded.

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