Today (15 May) the Department for Education is opening a consultation on the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. This is the result of two 2017 Supreme Court rulings requiring minor changes to this scheme’s regulations, along with those of every other public sector pension scheme.
The changes will cover three areas:
- Providing civil partners and same-sex spouses with the same survivor pension rights as widows
- Removing the requirement for the completion of a nomination form for unmarried partner benefits; and
- Other small technical changes and clarifications to ensure that the scheme operates as intended
The consultation will run for six weeks and seek views from stakeholders on these changes, as per the requirements of the scheme.
Nick Gibb, Minister for School Standards, said:
“These very important changes will make the Teachers’ Pension Scheme fairer for teachers and their spouses in same-sex marriages and civil partnerships, and will simplify the process for those in unmarried relationships.
“Over the next six weeks we will seek the views of a variety of stakeholders to ensure these changes properly meet our legal responsibilities, and I would urge all those involved to share their views.”
Following a valuation of public service schemes that happens every four years, last month (April) the government committed £940 million to protect state-funded schools and Further Education institutions from increasing employer contribution costs in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, which will remain among the most generous in the country.
The TPS is one of only eight pension schemes guaranteed by the Government; provides additional benefits linked to salary; is inflation-proof to offer teachers a secure retirement; and from September will offer a teacher earning £30,000 around £7,000 in employer contributions every year.