Originally uploaded by tifotter
There have been a few bits in the press, the ATL have posted me a leaflet and today I attended a meeting about what the government plans to do to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS).
This is from a secondary source, in the form of an ATL rep, but it seems the Hutton Report has recommended several things that the government wants to push through in June.
1. The government has already implemented a change in the way it calculates inflation by switching from the Retail Prices Index (RPI) to the Consumer Prices Index (CPI). The CPI runs at a little over 1 percentage point lower than the RPI, meaning that any difference is multiplied year-on-year.
2. The retirement age will rise from to 66 in the year 2020 and to 68 at some point after (certainly before the time I get there).
3. Those working in the private sector will not be eligible to join or contribute to the TPS.
4. Final pensions will be calculated on the average earnings instead of the final earnings. This means a drop in the value of yours and my final pension by an average of 15%. Those who choose to go part-time while their children are young would be particularly affected by this, and any move to a senior management position later in your career will have little effect on your final pension (but probably a significant one on your quality of life I reckon).
5. Pension payments will rise from 6.4% of monthly pay to 9.8%. That’s a rise of 53%, or an average of over £100 per month. Every month. Until you’re 68. That alone will cost me over £35,000 (in today’s money) over the course of my career.
I think that all looks pretty bleak, especially when the government have said that the current TPS payments are sufficient to cover the cost of pension payments. The extra money will be used to clear the national deficit. That’s teachers’ pension contributions adding half again, not to pay teachers’ pensions but to pay towards the national deficit.
So, although I’m loathe to deprive students of a day’s education (and I really do mean that), I really don’t think I have any option but to vote for industrial action when the ATL ballot comes out in the next month. And I would encourage anyone in the NUT, ATL, NAHT or any other union balloting for action to vote yes as well.