I have completed my third year of teaching. Until Easter, I was in full-time employment, contributing to the teacher's pension. Since then, I have been supply teaching for different agencies who say I am unable to continue contributing to the Teachers' Pension Scheme through them. Is there any way I can do this independently? If not, since I plan to return to permanent teaching, can it be left on hold to pick up where I left off when I return?
To be able to contribute to the scheme you have to be employed as a teacher. Supply staff employed by private companies do not fall within this definition. If you are employed by a school or local authority and work regularly, particularly in one school, ask if your service can be pensionable. If not, make other arrangements, such as a stakeholder pension. When you return to regular service, you can start contributing.
Then ask about adding other contributions to your record with the scheme.
Remember, you are likely to be of an age where you will have to work to 65 before claiming a full pension.