Opinion Former Article

'Unrealistic' pension age condemned

The  increase in the retirement age for teachers to 68 is completely unrealistic in a climate where teachers are burning out after only a few years in the job the Annual Conference of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, has heard today.

Representatives at the Conference in Belfast condemned government reforms to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme which have left teachers paying more and working longer to get less in retirement.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“Teaching is a highly challenging profession at whatever age.

“The failure of governments to tackle effectively cuts to pay, excessive workload and pupil indiscipline has piled on even more pressure and made the increase in  the retirement age  all the more unrealistic and unacceptable.

“Ministers wring their hands and wonder why there is a teacher supply crisis.  They need look no further than the policies they have inflicted on the teaching profession for the answer.”

ENDS

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Notes to editors
The NASUWT’s Annual Conference is being held at the ICC in Belfast from 19-21 April.

The full text of the motion is below:

PENSION REFORM
Angela Butler moved,
Kerry Brudenell seconded;

Conference deplores the imposition of detrimental pension reforms on teachers across the UK from 2011 onwards, including swingeing increases in pension contributions and the unacceptable equalisation of the state pension age and teachers’ pension age.

Conference further deplores the actions of some independent school employers who are seeking to withdraw from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme’

Conference is appalled that the Government’s justification for increases to the retirement age for teachers was predicated on a flawed prediction of improving life expectancy of teachers which has not proved to be accurate.

Conference is opposed to any further increases in employee pension contributions from 2019 onwards.

Conference urges the National Executive to continue to seek in the UK Teachers’ Pension Schemes:   
(i)         benefits improvements for teachers to include access to full entitlement without actuarial reduction;
(ii)         further measures to eliminate discriminatory pension provisions and
(iii)        an end to the link between the state pension age and the normal pension age for teachers.”

Conference further urges the National Executive to equip and empower members resisting the detrimental changes introduced to the UK Teachers’ Pension Schemes since 2012’”.

Conference applauds NASUWT members in independent schools who have successfully resisted employer attempts to opt them out of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.

Conference calls on the National Executive to continue to implement action, up to and including industrial action, against employer withdrawal from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.
(Executive, Chester West and Chester)

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