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TPS news

Your pension is under attack: the government wants to change the Teachers' Pension Scheme in a way which will massively reduce the value of your pension in retirement or if you leave education.

28 April 2014 - TPS: Further regulations to complete reform

The Department for Education launched a consultation on further reforms to TPS in April 2014. One of the major issues raised in the  consultation is the member contribution level for the new Career Average Revalued Earnings (CARE) scheme from 2015.

UCU is responding to the consultation.

13 December 2013 - Contributions increase 2014-2015

The Department for Education launched a consultation on 'Pension New Deal and increases to member contributions' which closes on 9 January 2014. This is the third year that the contribution level in Teachers' Pension has been increased by government.

26 March 2013 - UCU calls for rejection of Scottish pension contribution increase

UCU is call on the Scottish Parliament's Education and Culture Committee to reject legislation that would increase pension contributions for teachers and lecturers. Labour MSP Neil Findlay has tabled an annulling motion to the Teachers' Superannuation (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2013. UCU is calling for MSPs to back the motion and stop a 1.5% increase in pensions contributions from 1 April: Lecturers call for rejection of pension contribution increase

Teachers' Pensions Scheme changes 2013-14

The government has now announced the outcome of the consultation on the second year of contribution increases for Teachers Pensions. This represents the second of the three year increases imposed by the government on all public sector pension schemes with the aim of increasing the overall contribution made by members.

What it means for TPS members

The full details are below but in short:

From 1 April

  • Staff earning under £26,000 or full-time equivalent will pay no more than currently.
  • Staff earning £26,000 but under £32,000 will pay 0.6% extra a month.
  • Staff earning £32,000 but under £45,000 will pay 1.2% extra a month.
  • Staff earning more than £45,000 will pay between 2.1% and 2.4% extra per month.

Together with other unions, UCU remains opposed to any increases in pension contributions that are not justified on the grounds of the financial health of the TPS scheme. We deplore the unilateral decision to impose arbitrary increases justified only on purely political grounds without conducting a valuation of the present scheme.

The contribution increases for TPS members are in effect a form of extra taxation to address government debt rather than having anything to do with the costs of pensions and come on top of savings already achieved through:

  • the switch from RPI to CPI valuation of benefits which has reduced the liabilities by approximately 10%
  • the increase in the pension age in line with state pension
  • changes to the scheme which reduce pension values on average by a one third.

Notwithstanding this, UCU does note the revisions to the tiered arrangements for contribution increases that were introduced in response to union concerns. The revised proposals do at least reduce increases for the majority of UCU members that were originally proposed by the government and the addition of the new tier will benefit new entrants to the profession and lower earners.

Like other unions UCU participates in ongoing consultations concerning details of the new scheme to be introduced in April 2015. But at the same time we continue to work alongside the other unions to develop campaign strategies against further increases to contributions and normal pension age.

Contributions for 2013-14

Earnings (£)

Contribution Rate

Increase (against 2012-13)

Below £14,999



£15,000 to £25,999



£26,000 to £31,999



£32,000 to £39,999



£40,000 to £44,999



£45,000 to £74,999



£75,000 to £99,999



£100,000 to £150,999



Remember if you work part time, contributions are based on full-time equivalent salary, not actual earnings.

For further details see teachers pensions website

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