Ok, so this is a bit of self-indulgent navel gazing where I intend to reflect on campaigns and other stuff that I feel might have made a difference.
Pay Freeze Pension Consequences
The Pay Freeze pension implications. Back in 2020 I became aware of the implications for pensions of the rule used to calculate the final salary that only re-valued salaries from the date of a change in pay. The briefing document was taken up by the main unions and has been discussed at the DFE and the Pension Board. Many authorities are now taking action to ensure teachers do not lose out twice during pay freezes.
Links to areas confirmed:
- NEU Statement
- NASUWT Statement and Sample Letters
- Sefton, Merseyside (No link yet)
Case Studies on TPS
Case studies published on the TPS website were misleading and had significant mathematical errors that over benefitted the newer Career average scheme. Challenges to these through the TPS facebook page led to the case studies being withdrawn and re-worked with *slightly* better scenarios – though still with scenarios that unduly flattered the career average option (teachers in the NPA60 scheme working until 65 etc).
Career Average Pension Calculator
The TPS website has many useful calculators but one in particular caused me major concern. The career average calculator included assumptions on future inflation and factored those into the results. Using inflation itself wasn’t a problem but the resulting ‘pension’ then lacked any context. I pointed out, repeatedly, that it was no good being told that you’d be getting a pension in 40 years time of £110,000 a year if you didn’t know how much a loaf of bread was going to cost in 40 years time. The calculator has had the inflation element removed.
With over a decade of below inflation pay rises and the ending of the final salary scheme there has never been a better time for teachers to be made aware of how the rules can work in their favour. In particular the hypothetical calculation can now be used much more sympathetically. The main successes in this area has been where I’ve worked through the figures with teachers desperate to leave who didn’t realise that breaks they’d had back many moons ago would result in their pensions being significantly (up to 24%) higher than was being shown on their statements.