Teachers' Pensions
Types of retirement

Types of retirement

Thinking about taking your pension and want to know your options? Get the answers you need here.

  • What happens to my Additional Pension if I retire on Ill-health grounds?

    If you are granted Ill-health retirement within one year of commencing payments, your Additional Pension contributions will be refunded. However, if you’re granted Ill-health retirement more than a year after commencing payment, you will receive an unreduced Additional Pension. Faster Accrual is included as part of the Career Average benefits, while Buy Out isn’t applicable when taking Ill-health retirement as benefits are not actuarially reduced (but note that any contributions for Buy Out are not refunded).

  • Am I eligible for Early Retirement (AAB) benefits?

    To apply for Early Retirement (AAB) you must be aged 55 or over, but under your Normal Pension Age.

    In addition, you must have pensionable service or ‘excluded employment*’ on or after 30 March 2000 and qualified for retirement benefits. To qualify for retirement benefits under the Teachers’ Pensions Regulations you will need 2 years’ pensionable employment completed after 6 April 1988 or 5 years of pensionable employment at any time.

    You must have terminated (or be terminating) your current contract of employment and not immediately starting a new contract that falls under the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.

    * Excluded employment is employment which would be pensionable except the member has opted out of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. Alternatively, the member has not made an election for part-time service or post retirement service to be treated as pensionable.

  • Are the entitlement conditions the same for Early Retirement (Actuarially Adjusted Benefits) and Age Benefits?

    Although the regulations require a break in employment of at least one day and a cessation of employment, Early Retirement (AAB) requires a break in both pensionable employment and pensionable service, i.e. service that is pensionable (sometimes referred to as ‘excluded employment’).

    The situation is slightly different for members who have attained Normal Pension Age (NPA), in that they can become entitled to ‘Age’ benefits if the member opts out of the Scheme on, or after, NPA and hence is no longer in pensionable service, i.e. enters excluded employment. They will become entitled to benefits from the date of entering excluded employment if this is on or after NPA (or in other words, the day after leaving pensionable employment). If a member applies for benefits some time after the payable date, the Age award is backdated to the payable date. This will be paid as a one off payment. The Age benefits payable are a retirement lump sum (if applicable) and pension.

  • Am I eligible for Age Benefits?

    To qualify for retirement benefits under the Teachers’ Pensions Regulations you will need a total of:

    • 2 years’ pensionable service if you were in pensionable employment on 6 April 1988,
    • 2  years’ service after 5 April 1988
    • 5 years of pensionable employment at any time.

    To determine whether you’re eligible for Age benefits you need to know what your Normal Pension Age (NPA) is. There are two Normal Pension Ages in the Final Salary arrangement - 60 and 65.

    Your NPA for your Career Average benefits is either your state pension age or age 65 whichever is the later date.

  • What are the conditions for taking Age Benefits?

    To claim your pension at Normal Pension Age (NPA), contributions into the Scheme must cease. This means you need to retire to claim your pension benefits or be out of the Scheme e.g a contractual break in pensionable employment; or by opting out of pensionable employment at the point of claiming on or after reaching your Normal Pension Age. If you’re still actively contributing to the Scheme then you need to discuss your retirement with your employer and hand in your notice accordingly.

  • What is Phased Retirement?

    If you’re over 55 you can choose to continue to work and receive part of your benefits.

    To be eligible to take phased retirement you must have a reduction of at least 20% in your pensionable earning in the previous 12 months. You could do this by reducing your working hours or by taking on a post of lesser responsibility. You must make your application within three months of the salary reduction taking effect, but you can make your application three months before the reduction takes effect provided your employer can provide the salary information.

    If you’re in the Final Salary arrangement you can take two phased retirements before finally retiring. If you’re in the Career Average arrangements you do this three times before finally retiring but only two of your phased retirements can be before age 60.

    If you have benefits in more than one arrangement you can choose to take different proportions of your Final Salary and Career Average benefits.

    You can take up to a maximum of 75% of your retained benefits at each phased application stage.

  • I plan to take Phased Retirement can I continue to work?

    Yes, provided your earnings over the next 12 months reduce by at least 20% when compared to the past 12 months. It’s your responsibility to monitor your earnings to ensure that you comply with that condition.

  • I work as a supply teacher can I still take Phased Retirement?

    Yes, provided your earnings over the next 12 months reduce by at least 20% when compared to the past 6 months. It’s your responsibility to monitor your earnings to ensure that you comply with that condition.

  • Do I need to discuss Phased Retirement with my employer?

    If you want to take Phased Retirement, you'll need to discuss this with your employer to ensure that there’s an appropriate post available. Your employer will also need to certify your phased retirement application form.

  • What if my employer cannot accommodate my request for Phased Retirement?

    In this case, you’d need to seek employment with another participating employer in the Teachers' Pension Scheme. It would be up to your new employer to certify that the necessary salary reduction has occurred.

  • What happens if my salary breaches the 20% reduction in the first 12 months after Phased Retirement?

    Your application will be void and your benefits will be suspended. There may also be an unauthorised payment charge from HMRC of 40% of the lump sum you’ve received.

  • Does the Teachers’ Pension Scheme provide ill-health retirement benefits?

    If you become permanently unfit to teach due to illness before you reach your NPA you may be eligible for Ill-health benefits.

    However, if you’re ill, you may have to stop working before your NPA. Before you apply for Ill-health retirement you and your employer should arrange for occupational health support to look at ways to help you remain in or return to work. This might include reducing your working hours or taking on a role of lesser responsibility. Ill-health retirement should be a last resort.

    There are some issues you need to consider before completing an application for Ill-health retirement. Click here for more information.

    It’s up to you to provide any medical evidence to support your application. You or your employer will have to pay any fees associated with providing that evidence. If your medical condition is severe enough to warrant consideration of Ill-health retirement, it will generally be expected that you’ll have had the benefit of a specialist opinion during your illness.

    Your evidence will be considered by the Scheme’s Medical Advisors who will make a recommendation based on their consideration about whether your application can be accepted or not. If there is insufficient evidence to allow the Medical Adviser to make a fully considered recommendation, your application for Ill-health retirement will not be accepted. They will not seek further medical evidence to support your application. It’s your responsibility to ensure that any evidence you provide is current and comprehensive.

  • What is my Normal Pension Age?

    That depends on which pension arrangement or arrangements you’re in.

    The NPA for members in the Final Salary arrangement is 60 or 65 depending on when you entered pensionable service.

    If you were in service before 1 January 2007 your Final Salary NPA is 60 provided you have not:

    • transferred the service out of the Scheme; or
    • had a break where you were out of service for more than five years ending after 31st December 2007.

    If you entered pensionable service on or after 1 January 2007 or after a break, your Final Salary NPA will be 65.

    The NPA of members in the Career Average arrangements is either their state pension age or age 65 whichever is the later date.

    If you have benefits in more than one arrangement you’ll have more than one NPA.

    If you have benefits in both the Final Salary and Career Average arrangements your Final Salary benefits are protected and will remain in Final Salary. When you retire we’ll use your salaries earned in Career Average to calculate your Final Salary benefits. This is called the Final Salary link. If you have a break in pensionable service of more than five years ending after 1 April 2015 then the salary link is broken and we’ll use the salaries notified to us at the time of the break to calculate your Final Salary benefits.

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