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Going back

Are you thinking about returning to the classroom? You can calculate how much you can earn without affecting your pension at The rule is that you will be penalised if your new salary plus your pension adds up to more than your "salary of reference" - the highest salary you received in the three years prior to retirement, adjusted for inflation. Below are what some typical retired staff could expect.

Case 1

You retired from teaching two years ago aged 60. As head of a large secondary, your final salary was pound;60,000. With 25 years' service you got a pension of pound;18,750 and a lump sum of pound;56,250.

Now you want to help your local school, which is a teacher short. With no other earnings, your teacher's salary is much lower than the maximum you can earnwithout affecting your pension. You can go back full-time and still get your full pension.

Case 2

You switched into teaching during the last recruitment crisis in 1990. Last year, at 55 and on a pound;22,000 salary you retired early - despite having to accept a pension of pound;2,040. To the astonishment of your friends you have accepted a job at your old school. Despite earning more than you did a year ago you will get your full pension.

Case 3

You retired early in 1997 after 30 years of service, before the retirement rules changed. Then, you were a head of department on a salary of pound;25,000. Your education authority has asked if you would return full-time. But the pensions agency says you are only allowed to earn pound;16,397 a year before your pension of pound;10,000 is docked.

Jon Slater

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