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Teachers: Pensions

Volume 491: debated on Thursday 23 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of former teachers have had their pension payments (a) reduced and (b) increased in the last 12 months; and for what reasons in each case. (270108)

[holding answer 22 April 2009]: In April each year the pensions of some 500,000 former teachers and their dependants are increased in line with inflation (i.e. pensions increase), consequently all teacher pensioners received increases in their pensions of 5 per cent. this financial year.

The teachers’ pension scheme is a statutory scheme and pensions are reduced where there has been an overpayment, i.e. where the pension in payment exceeds the statutory entitlement. There are a number of reasons why overpayments can arise, for example, from this April some 20,000 former teachers had their pensions adjusted because an element of their pension known as the guaranteed minimum pension had previously been overpaid. However, it should be noted that only around a half of those pensioners had a reduction in the level of their pension payments as the adjustment was timed to coincide with the annual pensions increase uplift.

Details of each and every adjustment to former teachers’ pensions are not collated centrally, and the records of over half a million former teachers who are in receipt of a teacher’s pension would need to be individually investigated in order to do so. This could be done only at disproportionate cost.