TPS changes

Your Teachers Pension is changing - April 2022

9 March 2022

The government is making changes to all public sector pension schemes, including TPS, from 1 April 2022. These changes will remove the age discrimination found by the courts in the way in which the 2015 CARE schemes were introduced.

From 1 April 2022 all final salary schemes will close for future accrual. From that date all TPS members will build up pension benefits in the 2015 CARE scheme.

In addition - all eligible members will have a choice at retirement about how they want their pension to be calculated for the period 2015 to 2022 (either final salary or career average). Eligible members who have retired or left the scheme since 2015 will also be given a similar choice.

Please watch our webinar for more information, and see the FAQs below and accompanying presentation [717kb].


FAQs

What if I'm due to retire before April 2022?

You can claim your pension as usual, and it will be calculated according to the scheme rules at that time. Your benefits will be reassessed as soon as possible after October 2023 and your period of membership from 1st April 2015 to retirement will be paid at whatever is the higher amount of either legacy benefits or reformed benefits.

I retired in 2020. Will my pension benefits change?

Because you retired during the remedy period your case will be reviewed to see whether paying your benefits under 2015 or your legacy scheme is better for you. You will then be able to elect which set of benefits you prefer according to your circumstances. The Bill says that cases such as yours will be reviewed at some point after October 2023 (or before if the scheme administrator is able to - TPS have indicated they can do this from October 2022).

I lost the ability to retire at 60 when I was transitioned to the 2015 scheme 3 years ago but now I find I may be treated as if I was in my old scheme after all. Can I make a retrospective application now?

You can apply now but your benefits will be calculated according to the scheme rules at the time of retirement. Your claim cannot be backdated, and your benefits will be reassessed but not until after October 2022. If your pension would be reduced now because you are claiming it 'early' under your current scheme rules, yet the legacy rules would have allowed for full benefits, this will be addressed when your situation is reassessed by the pension administrator. Such reassessments could start as soon as the legislation has been passed but no guarantees are being made about timescales as yet and the Bill only requires reassessments to take place after October 2023.

I'm very close to retiring. Can I stay in my legacy scheme for a couple more years?

No. HM Government is clear that it will not allow any active members to remain in the legacy schemes after April 2022. To do so - according to age - would be to add further discrimination into the scheme provisions and would not be legal.

I chose to stop the pension because I didn't want to have to move to the 2015 scheme but if I'd stayed in those years would be calculated under the old scheme arrangements and I now wish I hadn't opted out. What can I do?

The Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill 2021 states that for those who opted out of the pension scheme between 2015 and 2022 will be allowed to reinstate that service - subject to scheme eligibility criteria and paying the required contributions. So you will be able to "buy back" the time you weren't in the legacy scheme. We are awaiting further government guidance on the potential scope of such cases, including timescales, so please watch this space if you think this is relevant for you.

Can I reverse a decision I made about my pension after 2015 now that this is happening?

If you feel you have made a decision that you would not otherwise have made because of the UK government's 2015 scheme reforms and which has caused you financial detriment, you will potentially be able to pursue this. Such situations are referred to as 'Contingent decisions'. We are awaiting further government guidance on the potential scope of such cases, including timescales, so please watch this space if you think this is relevant for you.

What we do know is that there will be no automatic revisiting of cases so you will have to raise the issue and to provide evidence to substantiate it. It is not yet known when the scheme administrators will start handling such cases.

I have made voluntary contributions for additional pension/faster accrual/AAB buyout/. What will happen to them now?

The UK government has stated that schemes should find ways of members retaining rights in the schemes in which they made additional voluntary contributions. The Teachers' Pensions Scheme is currently considering how this will be achieved and will consult on options in the future. The government has suggested the following options:

  • an equivalent value in the other scheme
  • rights that the same contributions would have bought in the other scheme
  • a refund of contributions.

Further information and updates will be provided as soon as possible.

Last updated: 9 March 2022