Govt commits £940m to Teachers Pension Scheme

The government has said it will “fully-fund” the estimated £830m increase in pensions contributions of state schools for 2019/20.

Publishing its response to the consultation on teachers’ pensions yesterday, 10 April, the Department for Education committed to the grant for state schools, as well as a further £80m for further education colleges and public-funded training organisations.

According to the government, the £940m overall funding will offer a teacher around £7,000 in employer contributions every year, making it “one of the most generous pension schemes on offer”.

Delivering the news, Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: “The Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) is, quite rightly, one of the most generous pension schemes in the country.

“To illustrate how this scheme compares to others available: a teacher who joins the pension scheme at 23 and follows a typical career path could expect to accrue a pensions product worth around £600,000 – that’s £30,000 a year – and the average classroom teacher will benefit from at least £7,000 a year in pension contributions from their employer on top of their salary.”

TPS is one of only eight guaranteed by the government.

Despite this, the response has drawn criticism from the Universities and College Union (UCU) after the government decided not to extend the support to universities.

UCU acting general secretary, Paul Cottrell, said: “It is deeply worrying that the government has decided not to extend support to universities affected by increased Teachers’ Pension Scheme costs.

“The government is wrong to be relaxed about the potential financial problems that its decision will cause. We are seriously concerned about the impact the decision could have on staff and students, especially as many of these institutions are crucial drivers of social mobility.”

However, the government decided that state schools and further education colleges pension funding was a matter of priority.

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