How far does the Teachers' Pension Scheme provide cover for the consequences of serious illness or injury?
The Teachers' Pension Scheme is not an insurance policy. You should be clear about what it does and does not provide.
But, even before considering the pension scheme, the standard contract of service in state schools provides some salary cover in the event of injury.
If you have been in service for three years and are absent through illness or injury, you are entitled to full pay for six months and half pay for six months. This benefit drops for shorter service.
The pension scheme deals solely with permanent incapacity. If the administrators are persuaded by medical evidence that you are permanently unfit to teach, you can retire on grounds of ill-health.
You can thendraw the pension and lump sum to which you are entitled by virtue of your years of contributory service, enhanced by up to six-and-two-thirds years - this latter figure being reached after 20 years of such service.
However, once you have retired in this way, you are not permitted to return to teaching without forfeiting your pension.
Should you die in service, your spouse is entitled to half your pension and lump sum and a one-off death grant. Dependants in full-time education are entitled to a share of the pension and lump sum. Similarly, should you die after retirement, your spouse and dependants are entitled to receive the same proportions of your pension though not, of course, a lump sum.
Questions should be sent to Helpline, The TES, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX