I am writing as the Minister of State for Schools to let you know about the changes that the Government is proposing to the Teachers' Pension Scheme, which are currently being discussed with teacher unions and employer representatives.

Teachers have told us that they want clear and accurate information about the Government's proposals. The purpose of this letter is to let you have the facts as they stand at the moment and to help you understand what the changes might mean for you.

What will stay the same?

  • You will continue to receive a guaranteed income in your retirement.
  • You will keep the pension and lump sum you have already earned (i.e. accrued rights) and this will remain linked to your final salary on retirement.
  • Regardless of any changes to teachers' Normal Pension Age or the State Pension Age, you will retain options to retire at any age between 55 and 75.
  • Those within 10 years of Normal Pension Age on 1 April 2012 will see no change to the age at which they can retire, and no change in the amount of pension they receive when they retire.

What is proposed to change?

  • A move from a final salary pension to a career average pension scheme.
  • A phased increase to teachers' Normal Pension Age in line with changes to the State Pension Age.
  • A rebalancing of employee and employer contributions to provide a fairer distribution between members and other taxpayers.

When will this happen?

The intention is for a phased increase to employee contributions from 2012. The other reforms are proposed for 2015.

To find out more:

More information can be found along with a detailed explanation and questions and answers on the Department's website.

To find out how the changes might affect you personally, there is now an online calculator which provides an estimate of your pension entitlement under the proposed reforms to the Teachers' Pension Scheme. This is available on the Teachers Pension website.

We will continue to update the profession via the Department for Education website. The Department is working closely with teacher unions to agree the best possible deal for teachers. Nothing will be final until negotiations conclude.

It is a personal priority for both the Secretary of State for Education and me that the Teachers' Pension Scheme continues to provide a high-quality and defined benefit, index-linked pension for the teaching profession.

Nick Gibb MP
Minister of State for Schools