Pension Awareness Day

Pensions Awareness Day is a campaign in the UK that takes place on 15th September every year to raise awareness and encourage people to save enough money for retirement. According to a Government report, there are concerns that 12 million people in the UK are not saving enough towards their retirement. This along with an ageing population and uncertainty over the state pension, is clear that helping people to plan for their retirement is vital to prevent poverty in old age.

Are you paying into your qualifying pension scheme? 

All school staff have the option to pay into their qualifying pension scheme; Support Staff will pay into the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) and Teachers will pay into the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS). Both schemes are well regarded as providing a multitude of benefits including providing members with generous employer contribution rates and if you have joined either scheme later on in life you can also elect to pay Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) to increase the size of your pension. 

Teachers Pensions 

If you are a teacher you will normally be auto enrolled into the Teachers’ Pension Scheme when you start your role or meet the eligibility criteria. The amount you pay in each month is dependent on your salary; you can find the contribution rate information here and some of the key benefits of being a member of the TPS are outlined here

Teachers’ Pensions no longer send member information by post so all teachers that are members of the scheme will need to access their information online by registering for an account; all you need is your National Insurance Number, Teacher Number and an email address. Once you are registered you will be able to view your statements and receive important updates; you will also be able to access a variety of forms used for retirement, changes of circumstances or to nominate beneficiaries. 

Local Government Pension Scheme 

The Local Government Pension Scheme is available to the majority of Support Staff who work in Kent schools. Most staff will be auto enrolled into the scheme but for staff that are not eligible for auto enrolment, they will be able to opt into the scheme by completing an Opt In Form. Contribution rates are dependent on your salary and you can find contribution rates here. There is also the option in the LGPS to opt into the 50/50 scheme which enables individuals that are experiencing financial hardship to still contribute to their pension at a reduced rate.  

There are many benefits to paying into the LGPS which will help members save for their retirement. Once you become a member, you must keep your details up to date to ensure that you receive all relevant information like your annual benefit summary, usually sent through the post.

Whichever scheme you are eligible for, it is important that you do your research to make sure it’s the right for you and your situation. You can find some useful information about pensions using the Pension Advisory Service website.

If you’ve just joined a pension scheme after starting in a new job check out these tips to help you settle into your new school.  

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