Government to face £2 billion pensions bill for teachers retiring in September as a result of Hutton proposals - ATL
10 March 2011
The government is likely to have to pay out £2 billion in pensions to teachers who retire in August following Lord Hutton's pension proposals, says the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL).
ATL estimates that if the 50,000 teachers aged over 55 decide to leave the Teachers' Pension Scheme at the end of the current school year and take their pensions immediately, this will cost the government £2 billion in September.
ATL general secretary, Dr Mary Bousted, said: "Teachers will be furious that the government is making huge changes to their pensions without providing a full valuation to know whether any of the changes are necessary. Hutton's proposals are the final straw.
"The government has already devalued all public sector pensions including teachers' by at least 15 per cent by moving the annual inflation-linked increase from the Retail Price Index to the Consumer Price Index – and 25 per cent with all the changes.
"It wants to increase teachers' pension contributions by 50 per cent, raising them from 6.4 per cent to 9.8 per cent by 2014.
"And now Hutton wants to end the final salary pensions and make everyone aged 56 or younger work an extra five years. Lord Hutton has obviously never worked in a school. As Jamie Oliver's Dream School is making only too clear, working in school is far from easy and many teachers are burnt out by 60 having had to face similar challenges every day.
"An average teacher will be paying an extra £1,011 a year and getting 25 per cent less after working for an additional 5 years.
"The government is playing to the politics of envy. Attacking public sector pensions will not bring back better pensions for anyone working in private companies. These changes will impoverish retired teachers and leave tax-payers to pick up the costs."
The average teacher's pension is £12,000 a year. The average teaching assistant's pension is £4,000 a year.
Notes to editors
The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) is an independent, registered trade union and professional association, representing approximately 160,000 teachers, headteachers, lecturers and support staff in maintained and independent nurseries, schools, sixth form, tertiary and further education colleges in the United Kingdom.
ATL exists to help members, as their careers develop, through first rate research, advice, information and legal advice.
ATL is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). ATL is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.