Teachers' Pensions
Planning to Retire - Joan, 60

Are you preparing for retirement like Joan?

Joan is 60 years old, and is an Assistant Head at a school in the North East of England. She is currently getting her financial house in order as she is preparing for retirement.

Joan started her teaching career in 1981, after six years she took some time off to raise her family. Returning initially to part-time work then increasing to full-time, Joan had worked her way up the career ladder and pay scale to Assistant Headteacher.

Joan left the Teachers’ Pension Scheme when she started a family as she felt she couldn’t afford both investing in property and her pension. She was aware this would impact on her pension, but felt investing in property suited her more at that time and was a better option for her.

I love the visual comparisons, the bar charts really make life easier as you can get the information you need very easily.

She has found herself much more reliant on the value of her pension ever since she lost around £60,000 on the sale of her home in the property market crash in 2007. This financial loss has had a significant impact on her and her husband’s plans for retirement. They are downsizing and have needed to buy at a lower end of the market than they had hoped; they feel having nice holidays and being comfortable is most important to them.

Joan’s circumstances have changed a lot over the years and she found keeping track of her pension was difficult.

"Now I’ve registered online with the new website, which is excellent as I get a personal view of exactly where I’m at. I love the visual comparisons, the bar charts really make life easier as you can get the information you need very easily."

"I’ve always known the Teachers’ Pension Scheme is one of the best and only stopped paying into it when my children were young because I needed the money."

"Of course, it is a commitment - I have been at the same pay scale for the last ten years and although my contributions have risen, meaning I’m taking home less pay, I feel it’s a necessary cost to protecting my future. Nobody could have foreseen what happened with the banks and the economy, and thank goodness I’ve continued with my pension as we really are relying on it now."

I feel very lucky to have the scheme as it’s very secure compared to most.

"I feel very lucky to have the scheme as it’s very secure compared to most. From the very first day I started teaching I was advised to look after my pension and we didn’t have fancy websites with information at a click of a button like this. The quality of the scheme, the great online calculators and facilities, and the way the pensions situation is these days, should make it more motivating than ever for people to register and keep up to date with theirs."

"I hadn’t looked at mine for a while and when I logged on the other day I got a lovely surprise - there was more in there than I expected!"

Are you preparing for retirement like Joan?

The sooner you familiarise yourself with your options, the more relaxed you’ll feel about the whole process - and hopefully you’ll be better placed to make the right decisions about an important phase in your life. At the Teachers’ Pensions website, you can:

Last Updated: 24/05/2017 13:31