Teachers' Pensions
Returning to work

Returning to work

Thinking of returning to work after retirement? Our FAQs outline what you need to be aware of.

  • Can I remain or return to work after receiving retirement benefits?

    If you’re receiving Age final salary benefits and you remain in pensionable employment, or you're receiving Age or Premature final salary benefits after leaving pensionable employment and then return to work, your pension may be suspended. This is dependent upon your earnings but only where the employment is pensionable in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. If the employment is eligible to be pensionable the earnings will be included in the assessment, irrespective of whether you have opted-out or remain in the Scheme for that employment.

    If you retired on ill-health grounds your pension will stop as soon as you return to work. This applies to benefits awarded under either or both the final salary or career average arrangements.

    If you’re receiving Early Retirement (Actuarially Adjusted Benefits), your pension will not be affected. If you return to work and subsequently take Age, Premature or Ill-health Retirement, your benefits may be affected.

  • How is my pension affected if I remain or return to work after taking age retirement benefits, or return to work after taking premature retirement benefits?

    Your final salary pension will be affected if your pension and re-employment earnings exceed your salary of reference. Any career average pension that you’re receiving will not be affected. Your salary of reference is the highest salary in the average salary period, as calculated at retirement.

    When we calculate the value of your pension we use your final salary pension, any career average pension and also include any mandatory and discretionary payments that your employer at retirement is paying.

    Your index-linked salary of reference minus your annual pension is the limit that you can earn in a tax year before your pension is affected. If your earnings in the tax year exceed that limit, your pension is suspended.

  • What if I don’t join the Scheme, will my benefits still be affected?

    If you don’t want to contribute to the Scheme you’ll need to formally ‘opt out’. You can do this by using My Pension Online. However, your pension may still be affected by your earnings.

  • How does part-time work affect my pension benefits?

    If you work part-time you’ll be treated in the same way as a full-time member and your earnings will be used to determine if your pension should be suspended or not.

  • Where can I find my Salary of Reference?

    Your Salary of Reference can be found on the award papers that you were issued to you when we confirmed the amount and date of payment of your Teacher’s Pension. You can look at and download your award papers at any time by signing into your My Pension Online account and viewing your messages.

  • Will I get any more retirement benefits after I stop my re-employment?

    If your service is pensionable, you’ll get further retirement benefits on application. These will be based on your extra pensionable employment and the salary that you earn. This is known as Additional Service After Retirement (ASAR).

    If you’re re-employed after taking retirement benefits, other than Phased Retirement, you must have one year of ASAR to qualify for further benefits. If you’re working part-time, the whole period counts towards your qualifying service, including the days you don’t work. However, your benefits are based on the pensionable earnings you receive.

    You don’t have to claim your benefits immediately. You stop ASAR if you plan to do further work as all your ASAR benefits will be added together when you finally decide to claim them. If you have less than one year’s service (365 days), and don’t intend to continue in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, your contributions and interest will generate an annuity to add to your existing pension.

    Unless you were in ASAR immediately before 1 April 2012 any service undertaken after 1 April 2015 will be in the career average arrangement. The standard retirement types, Age, Premature, Early (Actuarially Adjusted), Phased and Ill-health, apply to ASAR benefits.

  • What do I need to do if I start working again?

    If you return to work, there are five things you must tell us:

    1. The name and address of your employer
    2. The date your employment started
    3. The duration of your employment (if you know it)
    4. The rate of salary
    5. The nature of the employment (indicating whether it’s full or part-time)

    To make it easy, you can complete the Certificate of Re-employment to ensure we have all of this information. This can completed via your My Pension Online account or you can download the paper form.

  • If I’m receiving Premature Retirement (which my employer has increased,) will it be affected by my re-employment?

    Your employer will have paid mandatory compensation if you’re receiving Premature Retirement. Your employer may also have agreed to increase your pension as compensation for your early retirement. In either or both of these cases, the value of those payments will be taken into account when assessing the impact on your pension.

  • What if I’m receiving Ill-health benefits, will my benefits still be affected?

    If you’re receiving ill-health benefits, it’s because you had been judged permanently medically unfit to teach. If you return to teaching, your ill-health pension must stop immediately.

    If you wish to return to teaching, your employer must be satisfied that you’re fit to teach in the capacity required. It’s your responsibility to notify us in writing straightaway of any employment undertaken when in receipt of ill-health benefits.

  • 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.


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