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Truth or uban myth - Related to pensions

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by whiskyforme, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. whiskyforme

    whiskyforme New commenter

    I was reflecting on the whole pension farce and remember the 1st statistic. (below) after a small bit of Google I found the next two. Any idea how true they are?

    The average age of life expectancy for a head teacher who retires at the age of 60 is 18 months

    The divorce / relationship break up rate for teachers is higher than any other profession.

    The average age of death of a teacher who retires at 60 is 63.

    I love my job so would not change it irrespective of the statistic but I may change my lifestyle some what.

    Sorry for the doom & gloom
  2. DM

    DM New commenter

    Well I suppose the good thing is you have the wherewithal not to take these "statistics" at face value. Do you really need to ask up if they are true or not? You know the answer don't you?
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    I retired aged 63.
    4 years ago. And still going strong.
    TheoGriff Snr (a Deputy Head in an Approved School - not an easy life), retired aged 65.
    26 years ago. And still going strong. (He has certainly got his money's worth from his pension contributions. [​IMG])
    So the later you retire, the longer you survive?
    Best wishes
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
  4. ianj6

    ianj6 New commenter

    Do we get taxed on our pensions when we're eligible to them? Ie when I'm 65 I saw a stat last night that says I may get 25K ayear. Is that tax free?
  5. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    No, of course not. You're subject to income tax in exactly the same way as if you were earning it. You won't pay NI, however or (obviously) pension out of it.
    You get a tax free allowance of the first few thousand and the rest is taxed at the ordinary rate.
  6. ianj6

    ianj6 New commenter

    As my dad says; "only 2 things are certain; death and the taxman!"
  7. The reason dedicated Headteacher time guidelines were introduced was due to recommendations from a study commissioned by the last government. The online survey found many issues arose about divorce rates, poor health and other serious issues. There were also statistics published at that time about shocking life expectancy rates for Head teachers. I've seen many Heads crack under the pressure, often without anyone knowing, and sadly know of once healthy colleagues who died whilst in their 50's and others who didn't make it long after retirement. Not an issue to be taken lightly and dismissed as urban myth. It is a job full of high stress and can totally consume your personal life if you let it. However, we do the job freely and have a duty to look after ourselves. I'd hope that governing bodies would have Headteacher welfare and workload high on their agenda. Don't be a matyr is my advice, be honest when you are tired, tell the governors if you have too much to cope with all at once, delegate and find someone to talk to about your stresses.
  8. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    No-one has suggested that the pressures of headship are an urban myth, it's the alleged 'fact' that a head retiring at 60 has an average life expectancy of 18 months which is an urban myth.
    Please can you post a link to this or more details of it. Thank you.
    Published by who? When OP's question has been asked here previously no-one has ever cited any published statistics to support this claim. Can you post a link or give the source? Thank you.
  9. ianj6
    The lump sum is not taxed, however.
  10. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Thanks for that Tom - sorry I didn't clarify it.
  11. Price Waterhouse Cooper carried out a survey sometime around 2004-2005. It was on the DFEE website just before workforce reform came in. I have looked at the PWC website and they have no archive materials nor can I find a contact page. Interesting website though- government sychophants! I recall filling in the survey online which asked questions of Headteachers about their hours, their health & personal well being issues. The survey informed that document which went to govs soon after about dedicated Headteacher time. At the time, there was a lot of press about stress levels in the teaching population and Headteacher life expectancy was one of the headlines and linked to the PWC online survey. I also remember an NAHT conference at about that time when stats about life expectancy were on the agenda. I've heard NAHT talk about this a few times at regional events but not in last few years. Anyway, if you're still alive and kicking, well done!
  12. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    Middlemarch I was just discussing pensions with my OH and he said that it was on the news this week that some Lib Dem Lord is trying to push for lump sums being taxed at 40%, to encourage take up of inuities.
    As for life expectancy, I think there was lots of annecdotal evidence in the 70s and 80s of low life expectancy. Certainly when my dad worked as a secondary teacher in a tough school, <u>every single</u> teacher that retired from that school in the 80s, didnt make it to 70 many died around 65 often within a year of retiring and it was something that scared my dad who eventually retired at 58. However life style and medical advancements have improved everyones life expectancy. Many of those teachers smoked for instance. My dad is now in his mid 70s and very fit and healthy, though he always led an active lifestyle and genetically he comes from centurian stock. Also teachers are much better paid than in the 70s and 80s and can lead a healthier life style as a result. Holidays abroad etc are now the norm.
    That said, I think it is now the norm for teachers to retire early, whereas in the 70s and 80s, you were more likely to go to the end. Maybe this is the reason for more surviving longer. As an EY teacher in my 40s with a back problem common to most EY teachers, I dont think I will physically make it to 60, let alone 68 if the gov has it's way.
  13. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Time flies transilvanian! I think it's the PWC "Teacher Workload Study" you are referring to, which was published in Decemeber 2001 and which as you say led to dedicated headship time, teachers PPA, the removal of administrative tasks etc. You can still find it online at various places - here for instance
    However, it doesn't throw any light on the original question about life expectancy. The PWC study didn't examine life expectancy and doesn't mention it in their report, nor as far as I can see does it say anything specific about heads' health (or teachers' health), beyond some generalisations. There are 125 pages of it though and I've only skimmed it, so there might be something there that I've missed.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to belittle or play down the pressure on heads and teachers, nor the effect that pressure has on some people, I'm just trying to get an answer to whiskeyforme's original question which is specifically about whether it's true that heads and teacher's have a very low life expectancy after retirement. Neither on this thread nor when it's been asked previously has anyone ever posted any evidence to substantiate those claims. I don't believe they are true. On the contrary there seems to be no reason to cast doubt on the DfE statement I posted earlier, that most teachers have a longer life expectancy than the general population.
    If it were really true that teachers had such short life expectancies surely the teachers unions would long ago have commissioned an actuarial study that proved it and published it widely and be using it in current pension discussions? After all, if there's one part of the national data set that is pretty complete and accurate, long standing and widely used in and outside government it's the national statistics on mortality and life expectancy by occupation.


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