From the forums

4th November 2011 at 00:00

Would you quit teaching over pension cuts?

I won't quit teaching, but I will be forced to opt out of the pension scheme. The increased contributions will not be spent on pensions. They will be used to try to reduce the deficit. This is not about affordability. The Government has stopped arguing that it is unsustainable, after it was pointed out that (Lord) Hutton never used this word (in his review of public sector pensions). In negotiations, the Government has refused, or been unable to say, how much of a shortfall it thinks there will be.


If you're in your 50s you might as well stay in teaching, joyless though it is. I'm in my late 40s - bit of a problem. I don't enjoy the job and life is not a rehearsal. Michael Gove would never dare set foot in a classroom apart from a few set-piece photo opportunities. He has good pension arrangements.


Not sure that opting out of the pension scheme will do much for your future - unless you have no dependants and a terminal illness. I accept that I've got to pay more. It's the working on and on until I'm nearly 70 that is the sticking point for me. I've had a dose of a "could have been fatal" illness - my priority now is not to work myself into an early grave. And, given the employment situation at the moment, I doubt if anyone would walk away from a secure, well-paid job which still has perks ... like the holidays. (That would have been my reason to get out, if the holiday entitlement had been cut.) I suspect there will be an exodus of teachers in their 50s wanting to go soon, though, if pension cuts are made.

Arched Eyebrow

Cutting pensions may not be enough to make me leave the profession ... but it may be another disincentive for others to start the profession.


We have just had a round of redundancies at our school and several of the older staff - 58+ - would have been happy to go and spare the younger ones if any sort of enhancement or protection had been offered re their pensions. But apparently this was completely impossible, so now we have three old teachers, who hate every second they spend there, bitterly and resentfully marking time while two younger teachers with children and mortgages have been "let go" with no package at all.


I'm thinking of teaching and am waiting to see what happens on pensions before I commit. I have a good degree from an excellent uni and am lucky enough to have other options that will pay more, so am torn between my financial situation and interest in teaching - the hope of a not-too-impoverished old age was counting for teaching ...


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