As news breaks regarding governmental errors regarding teachers’ pensions, we have provided a summary of how and why you should check your pension details and what to do to rectify any errors.
Why check your pension now?
Your teaching pension is based on your years of service, earnings history, and possibly your final salary, depending on when you started. The information is provided by your employer who sends it on to the Teaching Pension Scheme (TPS). If a mistake is made you will not know unless you have checked it. The paper predicted version you may receive in the post, may be different to what is evident online.
Recent data has revealed that in 2019 alone, 360,000 teachers who were due to retire were given the wrong pension predicted figures by the government.
The errors existed between paper forecasts that had been received by post and online predictions that were incomplete, showing false employment gaps which hugely affect pension forecasts.
No matter your age, it is wise to routinely check your pension details as retrieving information from a former employer can be difficult due to several reasons and the sooner you correct the error, the better. Former places of work may include schools that have closed down, changed names or become academies which add barriers to getting records. In addition, data protection laws mean that there is a limited number of years that a place of work can hold your details, so the longer you leave it, the less chance a school will still hold your records.
How to check your pension estimate online.
- Register for ‘My Pension Online’ through the Teachers’ Pensions website (you will need your personal details such as an email address, your National Insurance number and your Teachers’ Pensions Reference number).
- Login to the secure portal to view and manage your pension online.
- Check your personalised retirement benefits including your years of service and salary for each role for accuracy.
- Check your personal details including whether you have nominated a person to receive your pension in the event of your death.
- Do a cross reference check with a paper version of your pension statement if you have one, as they may be different.
What to do if you spot mistakes.
- Find out if the school still exists and contact them to request, they check their records outlining their error according to your information and ask them to rectify it.
- If the school no longer exists, contact the Local authority instead.
- If either of the above two fail, then contact the Teaching Pension Scheme directly to make them aware of your situation, providing them with as much detail as possible. They will be able to make checks and find inconsistencies with your employment contributions.
- Follow-up and check that any corrections have been made online and that it tallies with your paper version of your pension forecast.