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Oh no, all my eggs in one basket?

Discussion in 'Retirement' started by thistledoo, Feb 16, 2016.

  1. thistledoo

    thistledoo Senior commenter

    After a terrible year last year, I considered retiring early. I missed the deadline to hand in my notice (I think I was still undecided and another year would help my pension along). However, I made the decision to make 2015-16 my last year in teaching. For lots of reasons...such as being made redundant from my HOD and being re-instated as a MPG teacher (no redundancy pay), as well as the 'awful' year which involved depression and time off ill. I have made no secret that I intend this year to be my last but have stressed to everyone I am going early. I really do love the teaching and thought, once upon a time, I would continue to teach up to 60 or further. I have not handed in a letter of resignation (who knows what is round the corner?) but fully intend/ed to nearer the time. In my head, September is the time I can do without the alarm and even though I will not have a full pension, I can manage - stress free. I'm 57, UPS 3 and have completed 34 years. I went and told the Head about my plan, that was back in October. I thought it the right thing to do.
    Now there is a request out to all staff for early retirement, redundancy and part-time work.
    I am not greedy but exasperated, I took a drop in pay two years ago. A little extra, either as redundancy or in Premature Retirement would have really helped and I think because I have already declared my intention to go early, they do not expect to consider me for ER or redundancy.
    By doing 'the right thing', I've shot myself in the foot, haven't I?!
  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    As you said you haven't put anything in writing yet. You are allowed to change your mind ! Go ahead and put your name forward for voluntary redundancy. The worst that can happen is they say no, but you at least need to try.
    FrankWolley likes this.
  3. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    No you haven't.
    You have not resigned.
    Ask for it all.

    What can they do?
    You can hard ball them.

    I suppose they could try and delay your retirement if you didn't resign early enough. Doing another term or so with your fingers up is not something they would want. Hold out for what you want. It's payback time.
    FrankWolley likes this.
  4. dogpile

    dogpile New commenter

    They can't discriminate between staff as you have not resigned. Check with your union, but you should have a good case.
  5. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    @thistledoo I agree with other posters, just sharing your thinking as it was last October with your Head wasn't a commitment that you were definitely going to resign at the end of this year. Apply for the VR/ER offer now and find out what it is. They can't refuse your application and shouldn't discriminate against you because of your previous conversation. It might even work in your favour if the Head has already been planning 2016/17 in his/her mind on the assumption that you won't be there. Also being an expensive UPS3 can help you in VR/ER situations if school is trying to reduce it's a payroll cost - it gets there quicker the more expensive the teacher is!

    I'm puzzled why your salary dropped when you stopped being HoD. Presumably you were being paid a TLR for this so why wasn't the TLR pay safeguarded for 3 years after the HoD post was made 'redundant'? If you are employed under STPCD safeguarding of TLR pay for 3 years is a legal requirement.
  6. May2

    May2 Established commenter

    Hi thistledoo, long time no see ! I sent you a PM it's under your name listed as conversations in case you can't find it.
  7. thistledoo

    thistledoo Senior commenter

    Hi Everyone, thank you for your replies. I didn't think they could discriminate either and will follow up on ER/ VR. It is reassuring to know others think similar but after the re-structuring at our school previously where what you would expect to happen, didn't, I thought perhaps I might have misunderstood.

    To Rott Weiler - I didn't keep my TLR... I was made redundant and employed again... under the re-organisation/ re-structuring there was a way around not honouring TLR's and our head had it checked legally. There was nothing that could be done, even the unions could not do anything. That was 3 years ago and I wasn't in a position to argue, I needed my job as I am the main wage earner, my husband is disabled. What hurt the most was the new contract, I wasn't a 'specialist' in my subject but a MPG...losing my post and TLR meant I lost my faith in 'justice'.

    Hi, May2! How's your pooch? Sorry I haven't been 'around', will read my messages.
  8. thistledoo

    thistledoo Senior commenter

    An update just in case anyone else finds themselves in a similar situation. I went to see SLT and asked about VER or VR, there was surprise expressed in the conversation but they listened and the upshot is that I am to be treated the same as everyone else. Our Finance Manager was very understanding. I am now waiting to hear from the Head + Academy Chiefs/ Powers-that-be.
    SteveKindle, Yoda- and FrankWolley like this.
  9. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Might be worth running what has happened past your union too, just to ensure that you are treated equally with any others...
  10. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I think that the school could avoid giving you VR is there is a business case for it. If there is no surplus of staff in your area, and nobody slated for redundancy who could take you place, then they would not have given you VR even if you had not said that you are leaving. I think that you need to see what the school says before making a decision on what to do next. Your union may be able to give you some advice in the mean time.
    wanet likes this.
  11. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    I would expect the school to identify the areas where redundancies will be made.
  12. thistledoo

    thistledoo Senior commenter

    Thank you for the advice and comments everyone. Correct procedures are being followed. Staff were asked to request redundancy/ VER and it would be considered. Some staff have already been denied redundancy because of curriculum requirements.There has been documentation following this first request about re-organisation and redundancies, it stated that my subject area would be overstaffed and that they had had an offer - to be considered, for VER this went out to the whole school. No matter what the outcome for me, I am very mindful that I have colleagues who were not planning to leave or retire and they have been informed that they will be made redundant. I remember vividly, three years ago the feelings and emotions I lived through when this happened to me and several others. It is a very sad time and follows so soon after the last time.
    Previously when I was made redundant I had a full teaching commitment for the following year (the classes from Y9 have carried through to Y11) and there was no other specialist to teach the classes. The school took my TLR and employed me as main scale. Currently one of my main subjects has been disbanded by the Government and my time table is usually all KS4 and 5. I would have approximately three KS3 classes next year, so I am not needed but in essence, I am part of the expensive staff and salaries that finance need to budget against falling roles.
  13. thistledoo

    thistledoo Senior commenter

    Hi Everyone, another update - It took until two weeks ago to finalise but I have applied for my pension and had notification back that it will be paid in September. I saw a Wesleyan financial advisor (really recommend - I am not in the NAS but they said it didn't matter.) My school was very decent and going to see the Finance Manager and the Head was worthwhile, so thank you all for the advice. I am now newly retired and can't believe it - because of the lateness it is all surreal at the moment.
  14. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter


    Time to enjoy yourself.
  15. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    As soon as you trigger your TP, Wesleyan are on the phone to you. It's a pity that they don't follow through and actually send someone out to see you.
  16. SteveKindle

    SteveKindle Occasional commenter

    That's fantastic. I hope you enjoy a long and healthy retirement.

    Was your pension what you expected?

    Oh, and when they 'offered early retirement', what did that mean. At 57 you can go when you want, no offer necessary. Did they offer to pay in 3 extra years, so you get the same pension as you would have done at 60, or 10 years and the same as at 67 ?
  17. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Congratulations! Now enjoy every day, kids / SLT free!
  18. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    No one pays in extra years but some lucky individuals do get the pension without the actuarial reduction that would normally apply if you take the pension early. It depends on the early retirement of that person being to the financial benefit of the school. It's not common these days.

    Congratulations thistledoo! Have a long and healthy retirement.
  19. thistledoo

    thistledoo Senior commenter

    Thank you for the good wishes!
    At first the school was going to follow through on Premature Mandatory Retirement i.e. That is all benefits paid up to 60 but it was going to cost the school a lot of money. It is still offered in some Local Authorities who do not then offer redundancy or a settlement payout. Extra years have to be paid by a certain time - and I was out of that! I was offered an amount of money instead - I don't think it was 'true' redundancy. It was a lengthy process and I managed to stay on good terms with SLT/ the school. They knew I wanted to retire and to stay meant my teaching area would be over staffed. I was lucky, the school was fair and I am very happy that they offered and with what they offered. Some would call it redundancy with an enhancement.
    I took advice from the union and the circumstances meant it worked for both the school and for me.

    Wesleyan never rang me - I approached them... the school offered to pay for financial advice and the Wesleyan have a free first advisory meeting. The advisor was very, very helpful ... and he didn't make anything out of investments for/ from me, he advised, worked out the true worth of my pension/ benefits, we discussed 0, 5, 10% etc lump sum and pension. He was truly unbiased and he did not try to get me to invest or move my additional investments.
    SteveKindle likes this.
  20. thistledoo

    thistledoo Senior commenter

    Just an extra note to SteveK: a teacher can request to go after 55 yrs but the school can refuse, you have to have the agreement of the Head and Governors - it is rare that there is a refusal but it does and can happen. When you apply for your pension on the 'old' scheme under the age of 60 your school has to 'sign off' their agreement so you can access your pension. TP will not process it without it.
    SteveKindle likes this.

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