Private schools can exclude new teachers from pensions

Independent schools can begin phased Teachers' Pension Scheme opt-out from spring, allowing bar for new teachers while existing staff remain
11th November 2020, 2:40pm

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Private schools can exclude new teachers from pensions

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/private-schools-can-exclude-new-teachers-pensions
Tps Scheme

The government has given the go-ahead for a "phased withdrawal" of independent schools from the Teachers' Pension Scheme (TPS) after the idea received broad support.

The withdrawal, which will involve new teachers being prevented from registering in the scheme while allowing existing members to remain in it, will be introduced as legislation from next spring.

Currently, independent schools do not have to participate in the TPS but, if they do, they must enrol all eligible teaching staff.


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If a school leaves the scheme, none of its teachers can participate.

A DfE document outlining results of the consultation on the proposals states: "The proposal was aimed at allowing some schools to remain in the TPS that would otherwise have left, with the knowledge that, over time, the costs would reduce through natural staff turnover."

Last year, independent school staff threatened strike action over their school plans to withdraw them from the TPS.

But independent school heads warned that a 43 per cent rise in the contributions they must pay to the scheme would have a "significant impact" on school finances and that, unlike state schools, they receive no grant to cover the increase from the government.

The government's consultation response states: "The proposal was aimed at helping those independent schools in the TPS that need it to manage the increased employer costs…This would be achieved by allowing independent schools that opted for phased withdrawal to enrol new members of staff into an alternative pension scheme. Costs associated with the TPS would reduce over time through staff turnover."

A total of 645 responses were received by the consultation, of which 52 per cent were fully supportive of the phased withdrawal proposal, while a further 30 per cent of respondents supported the proposal "but expressed views on alternative approaches".

Respondents included teaching unions as well as bodies representing the independent schools sector.

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