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TP inset retirement planning seminars - any good?

Discussion in 'Retirement' started by peter_wallace1960uk, Nov 26, 2019.

  1. peter_wallace1960uk

    peter_wallace1960uk New commenter

    I am starting to think about retiring and looking around for resources. A colleague of mine went on a retirement planning seminar run by Teachers Pensions in partnership with the Prudential, which he said was actually quite good. Apparently, they run the seminars on inset training days at your school so there are no supply cover costs or disruption to teaching schedules, and they're run as a free service backed by DfE for all schools so long as there is a minimum of 20 teachers attending (schools can also invite teachers from other schools to make up the numbers).

    I have seen other on-site seminars being offered by private companies but they seem quite expensive and not approved by TP, DfE or my teaching union so I am dubious about the type of advice they might provide.

    I have asked my headteacher if she can invite TP / Prudential in next time as I have several colleagues who are a similar age to me and interested in learning more about how the scheme works and what it provides along with different retirement options. For anyone interested the number is 0203 755852 or email Teachers.Seminars@Prudential.co.uk to arrange.

    I would also be interested in hearing back from anyone who has attended one of these.
  2. pauljoecoe

    pauljoecoe New commenter

    We had a prudential backed one some years back. It was useful although I am not sure I discovered anything I didn’t already know. They are also a way for Prudential to try and persuade you to take on some AVC’s thought or even just a general more personal financial review.
    peter_wallace1960uk likes this.
  3. Brianthedog

    Brianthedog Occasional commenter

    I just attended a twilight session put on by my local NUT(as was) a couple of years ago. It was very informative but gave general advice rather than specific details.
    From their information and trawling through the TPS website I felt fully informed about my options regarding when to draw my pension etc.
    I didn't want the hard sell from a company who potentially could gain from my choices.
    peter_wallace1960uk likes this.
  4. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    I've had two. The Prudential was a group session many years ago and found it useful to kick-start my own information gathering but as Brianthedog says it was very generic but that was appropriate for the group I was with who were mostly pre-50s.

    The second was individual meetings with a rep from the Wesleyan who was able to go through my exact figures. We've had a couple of meetings. The first was looking at alternatives and the 2nd a more in-depth number crunching session - though the 'hypothetical calculation' wasn't mentioned and clearly in hindsight it was a significant omission. (Something I've posted about already and strongly suggest to anyone who will listen to look at ASAP)

    I did go into both with scepticism about their motives, the Prudential did push their AVCs a little and they made sense to me as I'm a hands-off investor and for part of my career I've been in the higher tax bracket. I was wary of any suggestion to 'up' the lump sum as I felt that they had the motive of getting more of it that could be invested with them but neither really pushed this so, again, pleasantly surprised.

    Having not yet taken my pension I'm investigating many angles and now I've given up work have time to really get to grips with it and there is no substitute, imo, for understanding how it all works. Having a maths degree certainly means I'm comfortable with the calculations but there's nothing in the methods for either scheme that is beyond the capabilities of someone with 'O' level or GCSE maths.
  5. peter_wallace1960uk

    peter_wallace1960uk New commenter

    That's useful feedback. I have had quite positive reports regarding Welseyan and local NUT too from speaking to colleagues (I think Wesleyan is run in conjunction with NAHT or NASUWT?) My main concern is ensuring that the seminars are approved by TP, DfE or teaching union so that I have confidence in any advice given. I have asked my school to contact TP / Prudential to run one of their free seminars on our next inset day.
  6. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    One thing that never came up in the meetings I've had and reports from colleagues is the option to force a hypothetical calculation by opting out for just one month, I've only just come to realise that this would have been a significant (10%) benefit to me.
    peter_wallace1960uk likes this.
  7. peter_wallace1960uk

    peter_wallace1960uk New commenter

    Not sure about opting out temporarily - I have heard of similar techniques to enhance pensions but think I will take advice from TP on the subject. It seems like TP are now running a national schedule of free seminars for teachers about the scheme and how it works, including on-site retirement planning seminars subject to a minimum of 40 attendees (schools can join together to make up numbers).

    Aside from the obvious advantages of helping with school budgets and supply cover, the main advantage for me (and I suspect most pre-retirement teachers!), is that the advice is from TP trainers and so reliable and trustworthy. The TP note is below if anyone is interested in getting them in for a seminar. I think heads and school finance depts would be particularly interested (email training@teacherspensions.co.uk with requirements).

    "We’ve been working hard over the past month to review our webinars and seminars, including reviewing feedback from you in order to improve our presentations. In addition to this, and new for the 2019/20 academic year, we’ll be hosting member presentations. The member presentations will include information to help your employees understand the Scheme better, which we’re hoping will help reduce the amount of queries you receive from your staff. All we ask from you is that you can provide a minimum of 40 members that will want to attend a seminar at your establishment and we’ll provide the trainer. The members you invite don’t all have to be from your establishment, you’re welcome to team up with surrounding establishments which will also make for a great networking opportunity. Further information on member presentations will follow shortly."
  8. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    Agree that it's always a good idea to get information from the horse's mouth!

    That said, there have been many posts on these forums - and I've experienced it myself - reporting that TP will NOT give advice and that all they will do is EXPLAIN the scheme; from reading your quote from them that seems to be what they are offering.

    I accept that I've become quite obsessed about the "potential" benefits to temporarily opting out for a month but I do try to limit myself to asking people to ask themselves the key questions about whether it works for them and in the best academic traditions put my theories and calculations out there for review by one and all.

    There's nothing sneaky about this method, it was put in to, and I quote from the TPS website: "Hypothetical calculations were introduced to safeguard the position of members".

    The mathematics of the scheme are fairly simple but I think many do not quite understand how much they are 'losing' as the changes in the benefit statements from one year to the next are greater than they first appear because the latest year has also had an increase due to inflation which artificially reduces the loss.

    Although I believe the seminars etc from TPS will help members understand how the scheme works I don't think they will have enough time to go through individual circumstances so I would urge everyone to learn how the scheme works and then work out for themselves, in pounds and pence, what the consequences of various scenarios may be. Certainly ask the trainers to confirm (or not) the effects of taking a months break would have on both portions of your pension scheme.
    HannahD16 likes this.

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