Schools minister Jim Knight has announced the launch of a consultation for a reformed teachers’ pension scheme in England and Wales.
The scheme is set to be introduced from 1 January 2007.
The key reforms that will be consulted on include:
- normal pension age 65 for new entrants;
- more choice and flexibility over the way members can plan and save for their retirement;
- revised ill-health retirement benefit structure; and
- cost-sharing arrangements that will see members and employers meeting an equal share of any future cost pressures
The new arrangements will enable existing teachers to retain a pension age of 60. The reform of the scheme reflects changes in demographics, employment patterns and the need for public service pension schemes to be modernised and sustainable.
Knight praised the work of the Teachers’ Pensions Review Group, consisting of representatives from the Department for Education and Skills, teacher and lecturer unions, and employer organisations, whose negotiations have enabled an agreement to be reached on the main features of the scheme.
Knight said: “I am grateful for the positive and constructive approach that has been taken throughout these complex negotiations. I am confident that we have reached an agreement which meets the objectives of long-term affordability and sustainability for a modernised scheme.