14th November 2008 at 00:00


Posted by bumbleb1

I am hoping to get some advice on probationers and the teaching pension scheme. Did allmost opt in, despite the job situation? I opted in and am sure it's the right thing to do, but I heard talk in the staffroom of a few of last year's probationers taking work outside teaching and wondered if it might be best to wait until my teaching career was a bit more secure? If I wait for that, I wouldn't ever have a pension.

Posted by JPM1967

I'd recommend that you opt in. The local authority pension plans are generally good value for money and secure. With people changing careers nowadays, and NQTs likely to be on supply for a while, every little will help when you finally retire. A full year's pension accrual is not to be sniffed at, even if it seems insignificant just now - it at least avoids a gap in your contribution history.

Posted by jonowen

I'd definitely recommend you start as soon as you can and you don't get used to the extra in your salary. It all adds up, and is relatively secure. (I sincerely hope I'm right!)

Posted by susanr1301

And make sure that you do so in your probation year. One of our probationers had a good 10 years' contributions from previous employment in industry, but was not told that he only had 12 months to get things transferred. We're now attempting to put it into the school's probationers' induction programme.

Posted by JPM1967

Susan, I'm confused - why would such a person want to transfer in their previous 10 years' pension entitlement from industry? Firstly, transfer values are very poor at present and are likely to get worse in the short term, with the falling stock market and improving mortality tables. Secondly, I would have thought the sensible advice is to spread the risk by having your pension in various pots, especially now that the Pension Protection Fund will safeguard the majority of any private employer's pension.

Posted by zeek

How do you opt in? Should I have some paperwork somewhere in the piles overflowing on my desk?

Posted by jonowen

Contact your council headquarters, or your mentor should be able to advise you. Keep at them till you get a reply.

To follow, go to: and search Forums for Scotland probationers.

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