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Pension provision?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by german_1, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. german_1

    german_1 New commenter


    My husband and I are both primary teachers. We are expecting our first child next year and are looking into going overseas but are concerned about the pension situation..... does anyone know what the score is abroad, do international schools provide a half decent pension? We do not have long in our pension pots as we volunteered in Asia for 2.5 years. I am 33 and he is 40.

    As I know you can only pay into teachers pension in the UK when in post here.
    We were hoping to apply for SCE schools but I hear many of them are closing in 2019.
    Any info or advice would be great.

  2. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Yes its possible to get a decent pension. Two of my schools paid upto 10% contributions of my monthly wage. You do have to consider that my monthly wage was a lot more than what UK teachers earn.

    Other schools you could earn significantly more than in the UK, and you could save some of that money towards your pensions. I know of teaching couples easily saving $100 000 a year between them, although this is at the top end of whats possible. They also live a very nice life, travel, and still save that.
  3. lifeinthe852

    lifeinthe852 New commenter

    I was thinking about continuing to pay into my UK teaching pension from abroad - but reading this, it sounds like that is not possible? Can anyone advise? Thanks
  4. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Im only going from what i have read on here, but its not possible to contribute from outside the UK.
  5. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    There are only 5 schools (all in Europe) which are linked to the UK Teachers' Pensions - so, unless you are in one of those five, it isn't possible to continue to be part of the UK teacher's pension scheme.
  6. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    Continue paying the overseas state pension contributions in the UK and then take out a private pension as well and pay into it regularly. As the dumbell says some schools will contribute, some not. Some countries will make you pay into their own state pension scheme, some not. Lots of financial advisors visit international schools regularly (ours comes twice a year) and I have always found them very helpful.
  7. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Makhnovite is right about making sure you cover yourself. You may have limited access to a UK scheme, but you can set up your own investments and prepare for retirement the old fashioned way - saving up.
    Where we don't agree is on the visiting financial advisors. Most are charlatans, promising much, delivering little, and charging ridiculous fees. Read The Millionaire Teacher or Andrew Hallam's blogs etc, to get yourself started and stay out of the hands of the sharks.
    clovispoint likes this.
  8. Helen-Back

    Helen-Back Occasional commenter

    Most private pensions sold to international teachers are barely legal scams. Look up Andrew Hallam's books on Amazon and read both.
    clovispoint likes this.
  9. lifeinthe852

    lifeinthe852 New commenter

    Thanks all, really helpful information. Presumably anything in my own teaching pension from past 4 years can be transferred out or something? It's not a huge amount obviously but it's money sitting there all the same!
  10. Helen-Back

    Helen-Back Occasional commenter

    With most government / company pensions it's better to leave it where it is. Every time you transfer there's some guy in the middle taking a 20% cut.
  11. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Hmm. This is really one of those "How long is a piece of string?" questions.

    It used to be the case that you could indeed carry on paying into the TPS if you were teaching overseas. (I think that this was up to a maximum of five years.) However, you had to pay the employer's contributions, as well as the employee's, so it really was jolly expensive. In any case, the great and glorious UK government put a stop to that and now you cannot carry on paying in any more, if you have left the country. On the other hand, you might be able to buy back those years that you have missed, once you have returned to teaching in the UK. Again, that might be blooming expensive. There are supposed to be a few schools in Europe where you are allowed to remain in the TPS and continue paying in, but I am not quite sure what contributions the schools are making (if any!) and whether you have to pay for the whole thing yourself.

    You might say, "Great! I am so lucky because I have landed a job at one of those special schools in Europe where I can remain in the TPS!" Well, bully for you. The major cities of many European countries are expensive places to live and no, they won't give you a free apartment and no, your salary will not be tax free.

    If you are planning to retire in the UK, then of course you are going to need a huge pile of cash because the UK is so flipping expensive. Perhaps it might be wiser to retire somewhere a bit cheaper. Or find a different career. Or just carry on working. At my present school in China, there was a teacher last semester who retired at the grand old age of 68. If you carry on working for long enough, then you will not need to worry about a pension at all because you will drop dead during your playtime supervision on Wednesday morning or, best of all, during the parent-teacher morning.

    The most important difference between international teachers and teachers in the UK is that most of the former are able to put a tidy little pile of cash aside each month. I am just a primary school teacher here in southern China, while Mrs Hippopotamus occasionally does a bit of modelling, but usually we manage to save most of my salary each month. What do you do with those savings? The stock market? Some sort of pension fund? Property? Well, it is really up to you. I am just a fat and old hippopotamus, not a financial wizard, so I cannot really help you with that one.
    binza87 likes this.
  12. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    i read a worrying article the other day, that the average person only lives 10 years past their retirement. not sure where i read it now, or even how true it was (i think it was the guardian), but it got me thinking, why on earth are all these people killing themselves working in British state schools because they think they get a good pension. you have worked like a dog for all these years, and then you only get 10 years to enjoy it !!!!
    Teachallover likes this.
  13. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yikes! I had better not retire, as I have no wish to die early. Or maybe it does not work like that.

    I also saw a shocking article, dumbbells60, about retirement in the U.S. More and more people in the States simply cannot afford to retire and so they don't. They just carry on working, even if it means taking seasonal jobs and living in trailers. In the UK, the TPS is still worth having, if you have done enough years, but more and more the real value of the TPS seems to be chiselled away by "changes". Yes, the British state pension is also worth having - if you live long enough to collect it.
  14. Alldone

    Alldone Senior commenter

    Lots of dubious stats about teachers in particular, who die early if they retire after 60. Think the Guardian did an article debunking this a while ago. Perhaps years of stress for many State school teachers do have an impact on health, but I know quite a few ex teachers who have been retired for several decades. I live well on my Teachers pension and will have even more money next year when I get the state one. Been retired for two years now and am probably the fittest I've been in my life.
  15. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    The received wisdom used to be that teachers and doctors would die within five years of retirement because of all the stress over the years, then not having it after they retired their system couldn't cope and it packed in.

    Having led a chaste and pure life, having never touched alcohol, tobacco or any other kind of stimulant (and the band played 'Believe it if you Like') I am hoping to go on for a bit longer when my time comes - which is not too far off!!
  16. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    My wife's been retired for six years now and is in rude health. I don't know how she manages to do all the things she gets through. Even though she's just had a complicated hip-replacement, she still goes out walking the dogs for an hour a day and keeps the garden under control...
  17. clovispoint

    clovispoint Occasional commenter

    They are very helpful because they are making money out of you. The overseas "pension" schemes they sell are vastly over-charging and take advantage of people who are trying to do the right thing but are naïve to the sales pitch.

    I agree about continuing to pay your National Insurance (cheap from overseas~£18 a week) and also leave your accrued pension where it is.
    Helen-Back likes this.
  18. Booker_d

    Booker_d New commenter

    Dont touch financial advisors overseas with a barge pole. 99% charlatans at best and out and out conmen who dont have a clue what theyre doing (and dont care about your money apart from what they can make off of you) at worst. The good ones (they do exist) are the proverbial needle in the haystack so best to just avoid.

    Those pesky tories changed the pension laws at a recent budget and now charge a whopping percentage if you want to take your pension out the uk while at the same time increasing the retirement age. Im guessing the cost of getting your moat cleaned and maintaining America's nuclear bombs for them must be creeping up.

    Having said that ive never had so much disposable income since i got on the international scene while still being able to save loads easily while living a lifestyle i could only have dreamt about in the uk. Its quite depressing visiting friends in the uk who never have any money to do anything. Dont let any potential pension worries put you off. Theres some good advice on this thread.
  19. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    I speak as I find.
  20. german_1

    german_1 New commenter

    Thank you all for your advice.
    I am seeking financial advice here now I am paying into TPS again and will endeavour to sort a proper private pension before we fly away again.
    Out of interest which are the 5 schools in Europe which allow you to pay in to the UK TPS? Are they the SCE schools or others? Would love to find out!


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