Career clinic: Teachers pension contributions

1st October 2010 at 01:00
TES careers expert John Howson offers advice to this teacher who is worried about his pension contributions while he's working in an independent prep school


I have just accepted a 1 year contract at an independent prep. school. I've completed the induction year (teaching secondary English) and I've paid into the Teacher's Pension scheme for over a year. I expected this school to contribute to a pension, but I can't see any mention of it in the contract I have been given for perusal. Can anyone tell me whether there is any sort of legal requirement for schools (any type, LEA or private) to contribute to a pension scheme, or is this something I need to negotiate ASAP?


Over 1,500 fee-paying schools are part of the Teachers' Pension Scheme, as are all state funded schools where teaching staff are enrolled automatically, and only some part-timers can opt out. If there is no mention of a pension scheme in the contract, ask the school what arrangements have been made for a pension plan. If there are no arrangements, why is that, and what other possible corners has the schools been cutting, and might it indicate anything about its financial position. For instance, a closure of a scheme recently might be a matter for further investigation before accepting a job. If the school just has never set up a scheme, you might want to look at a personal pension scheme. Further advice is beyond this clinic's remit, but your professional association should be able to help.
Professor John Howson

Professor John Howson is TES Connect's resident career expert. With over 30 years in education, including spells as a teacher, government chief adviser and business owner, John is the ideal person to answer your career questions.

John provides careers advice in the Career Clinic forum

John Howson also offers individual face-to-face careers counsellingand anapplication review service


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