More than one way to stick up for ourselves

13th May 2011 at 01:00

Having read Gerard Kelly's leader on pensions ("The implacable versus the immovable? Pensions stand-off is a tough one to call", 6 May), I thought I would add a few facts.

Your average headteacher or school leader will normally have become a head in their mid-30s. During the 14 years spent getting there they would have been promoted quite quickly. At the moment, 21 per cent of a teacher's salary is paid into their pension pot (approximately 7 per cent from direct income and 14 per cent from the employer).

The average annual salary for a headteacher over the remaining years would be around #163;65,000. Our contributions are for 40 years.

So: 21 per cent of #163;30,000 x 14 = approximately #163;88,000.

Then: 21 per cent of #163;65,000 x 26 = approximately #163;355,000.

So their pension pot would be #163;443,000. Well above the #163;400,000 Mr Kelly suggested was unlikely.

My pension pot is not far short of that and I will end up with a pension of around #163;20,000. The teachers' pension fund was set up in the 1920s and is billions of pounds in credit. It has been used to subsidise the building of motorways, Trident, and to pay for shortfalls in private pension funds. We are going to fight for our pensions and so are most headteachers.

Geoff Fewtrell, Cambridge.

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