Teachers' Pensions

Opted out members

Our Frequently Asked Questions below will help you answer many of your common questions about Opted out members.
  • What about people who have already opted out of the Teachers' Pension Scheme?

    People who have already opted out of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme will have to be re-enrolled into the Scheme from your enrolment date if they are 'eligible jobholders', that is those who are aged 22 to state pension age, earning over £10,000 a year. If they don’t want to remain members they'll need to opt out again. 

    To meet the full requirements of Auto Enrolment this means they will need to be re-enrolled into the Scheme every three years.

    You should also be aware that employers should not provide opt out forms as this may be seen as inducement; individuals can opt out via My Pension Online or download the opt out form.

  • Does the three month opt out rule still apply for new entrants?

    Auto Enrolment provides an opt out period which starts when a member joins a pension scheme or when they receive information from you about the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. Auto Enrolment requirements mean that employees have to be enrolled before they can opt out – they can't opt out in advance. You must inform the member about the Scheme within one month of taking up employment.

    Any payments made during the opt out period must be refunded in the same or next pay period.

    We guarantee a full refund for teachers if they opt out within three months, this will not change. Opt out forms can be obtained here or directly from us but not the employer. Teachers can re-join the Scheme at a later date if they wish but must complete the Election to join the Teachers’ Pension Scheme form. Otherwise they will be re-enrolled at the next relevant re-enrolment date.

  • If members opt out after the Staging Date can they get a refund of any contributions taken and will the employer get theirs back?

    The current provisions of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme are not being changed and will continue to apply as now.

    If a member opts out within 1 month that is considered to be under the Auto Enrolment provisions.

    If a member opts out within 3 months that is considered to be under the ‘contractual’ Scheme arrangements and it's intended that the Scheme provisions continue to apply which will mean that the member and employer receive a full refund of any contributions deducted in those 3 months.

  • What about part-time members employed before 1 January 2007?

    Members who were in part-time employment prior to 1 January 2007 were only required to become members of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme if they had a change in their contractual employment after 1 January 2007 or if they elected to join the Scheme.

    From your Staging Date those who are 'eligible jobholders' that is those who are aged 22 to state pension age, earning over £10,000 a year will have to be automatically enrolled into the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.

  • What about members currently employed part-time?

    Members who started part-time employment on or after 1 January 2007 are automatically members of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme unless they opt out. This will not change. However, anyone who has opted out previously must be auto-enrolled at your Staging Date if they are an 'eligible jobholder' that is those who are aged 22 to state pension age, earning over £10,000 a year. They can then opt out again if they wish by completing an opt out form.

  • What about people who have a number of employers multiple employments?

    Previously, when a person opted out of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme the election covered all employment that was pensionable in the Scheme. Since 1 October 2012 the opt out/in provisions have changed so that a member can opt out or in for each employment. A person in multiple employments can be in the Teachers' Pension Scheme for one employment and out for another. This is a requirement of Auto Enrolment that was introduced to the Teachers' Pension Scheme on 1 October 2012.

    That means that if they decide to opt out they will be required to complete an opt out form for each employment. Employers need to consider if a single employment relationship exists before advising a member if they need to complete opt out forms for each contract. Further information is available in the TPR Guidance Note paragraphs 60 and 61.

  • What does this mean for existing opt outs?

    Prior to 1.10.12, an opt out covers all teaching employment even if taking up a post with another employer. The teacher remains opted out until they:

    • Opt in or
    • Their employer (after 1.10.12) reaches the date from which they're required to auto enrol the employee
    • After 31st March 2014, they become subject to a fair deal transfer, for example moving to an Academy.
    After 1.10.12, the teacher has the choice of opting out of each contract of employment or in respect of all teaching employment. The teacher remains opted out until they:
    • Opt in or
    • Their employer (after 1.10.12) reaches the date from which they're required to auto enrol the employee
    • After 31st March 2014, they become subject to a fair deal transfer, for example moving to an Academy

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Latest News

The latest policy updates and announcements about the scheme and the news that affects it:

Conditions for accessing benefits in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme
Starters & leavers
New Ill-health Retirement forms