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Pension question - left teaching

Discussion in 'Retirement' started by laguna343, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. laguna343

    laguna343 New commenter


    I stopped teaching and am no longer making pension contributions. What should I do with my pension?

    I completed my PGCE in 2011. Then I spent the time between 2011 and 2015 either teaching on a supply basis or in one of my two temporary contract full-time positions, one lasted two terms, the other just one.

    So I only have 3 terms worth of teacher pay pension contributions. (3 terms spread over 1 1/2 years) somewhere between £1000 and £1400

    I left teaching, partly for my own sanity, and also because I was going to fail induction. Despite working 70 hour weeks I wasn't able to make up in that third term for the horrendous start I'd had in the rubbish, unsupportive school that put me in a Year 6 class with major behaviour problems that no other teacher in the school was prepared to teach.

    Anyway I'm digressing with my sob story, sorry about that!

    I'm now working as a part time HLTA, doing odd extra days to cover for teachers on courses etc. and really loving it. All the joy of teaching without the rubbish...and without a large chunk of the pay as well...unfortunately.

    As a result I'm no longer paying into the teachers pension scheme. So I'm wondering what I should do with it and how?

    Leave it? Do I have the option of just leaving it as it is and taking it out when I retire or do I not have enough years in it to do that?

    Transfer it? I've tried to find instructions on how to transfer the pension to my Local government pension scheme, however it looks very involved, needing to get past employers to fill in information about pay extra...I only have 1 month before the deadline for transferring in, so I don't think that's possible any more.

    Withdraw the funds?
    Can/should I take it out? I'm aware that I'll have to pay tax on it so I'll probably get back less than I put in.

    You see I don't get how pensions work. If it's anything like a locked ISA then keeping it in there until I retire might be the better option long term. However it's the rules about number of years needed to receive benefits that confuses me. Will I actually get any benefit at all from leaving it in the pension fund? Will the amount be increasing over time through interest...small as it is anyway?

    If not, then maybe I'd be best getting my pension contributions paid back to me. Will I have to pay tax on it if I'm earning less than the personal tax allowance and the repayment stays under the limit?

    My apologies for the long opening post. Thank you very much in advance for any advice you're able to offer.
  2. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    I would leave it.
  3. applecrumblebumble

    applecrumblebumble Lead commenter

    Leave it. It will be no worse than your LGP and its index linked. If you are planning to stay in education and maybe going back into teaching within the next 5 years (things might get better) it would me you can stay in the old scheme rather than career average scheme. If you move out of education see if you can transfer it into employers scheme.
    lindenlea likes this.

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