Not every qualified teacher will be eligible to join the Teachers’ Pension Scheme - only those who are carrying out the role of a teacher.  The updated guidance makes clear that, although there is no explanation of what “teacher” means within the regulations governing the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, teaching work is defined in other legislation as:

  • planning and preparing lessons and courses for pupils;
  • delivering lessons to pupils;
  • assessing the development, progress and attainment of pupils; and
  • reporting on the development, progress and attainment of pupils.

Teachers' Pensions suggests that these should be considered when deciding whether someone is eligible or not.

Whilst it is unlikely that CEOs and executive headteachers will be involved in planning and delivering lessons, they may be involved in assessing and reporting on the development, progress and attainment of pupils. What isn't clear is how much time needs to be spent on these for someone to be eligible to remain in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. Teachers' Pensions has indicated that if there is “little or no teaching work" and the job is more like that of a business administrator, then it may be more appropriate for the person to join the Local Government Pension Scheme.

It is for academies and multi-academy trusts to decide whether someone is eligible or not. If someone is incorrectly enrolled into the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, the individual will not build up any benefits in the scheme and, once it is realised that they are no longer eligible, their contributions will be refunded and they could be entitled to significant compensation.  Academies will therefore want to carefully assess whether to convert roles so that they will qualify for the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.

Join our webinar

Many LGPS employers are considering their options following the most recent valuation and re-setting of contribution rates. You are invited to join Doug Mullen for a 45-minute webinar update to employers on the outcomes of the valuation. If you would like to book to join the webinar, please sign up here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar from GoToWebinar.

For further information

For advice on the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and who is eligible to be enrolled, please contact Doug Mullen. You can also find out more about how we help people in the education sector with their HR challenges.