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wasn't allowed to opt in to TPS

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by music26, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Can anyone clarify the rules re. opting into TPS pre 2007?

    I am employed very part-time (2 hours a week) in an independent
    school, and have only very recently got them to start paying into my

    When I started employment in 2005 they originally said that my higher
    rate of pay compensated for no benefits such as pension, sick pay etc,
    and said I was not entitled to join the scheme.

    I contacted the TPS recently, who said that they should have been
    contributing to the scheme since I started employment and would need to
    make the full contributions.

    I know that before 2007 you had to opt in if you were part-time, but
    what is the legal position on whether or not schools have to let you
    opt in if you want to, or to inform you that you are entitled to?

    Interestingly, on my payslips it says 'hourly supply' although I am not
    a supply teacher, and work for the school, not through any agency.
    What is the significance of this please?

    Also, if I have to also make my share of the contributions backdated,
    how does that work with tax as I have already been taxed on that
    income, whereas if I had paid it at the time it would have reduced my
    taxable income.

    Many thanks if anyone can enlighten me!

  2. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I don't think you can backdate membership of the pension.
    You can purchase added pension now which involves saying how much more you'd like to get in retirement (multiples of £500, I believe) nad they calculate how much you'd have to pay for that, either ina lump sum or in regular deductions from pay over the next 10 yrs, for instance. You don't get an employee contribution and might have to take legal action to get financial redress for the em[ployer's misinformation years ago.
    I assume that extra deductions from pay would qualify for tax relief but that's academic if you don't actually earn enough to pay tax.
    Have you actually been paying tax on 2 hours of work per week?
    Have you been paying NI?
    Are you only paid for the weeks when you work (putting in timesheets for each week or month)? If so, you are technically a supply teacher, without access to sick pay etc but you would should still have been able to opt-in to the pension if the school offered access to other staff.
  3. phatsals

    phatsals Occasional commenter

    If you had been entitled to be a PT member of the Pension Scheme and the employer had not paid then you are entitled to have those extra years back.
    The employer has to pay their part of the backdated service, and you yours. This can run into a lot of money, but significantly more for the employer.
    This did happen to a colleague of mine who was employed part time. Deductions had not been taken from salary, nor employers contributions made. However TPA did find she had signed the form some years previously for PT membership meaning she still kept membership of the scheme. The LEA had to backpay all their arrears, and she hers.
    Find out from TP or your union what your rights are and if the above situation applies. If it doesn't then it is as already advised when buying extra pension, a very expensive option indeed.

  4. Your school would have know about the 1995 Pension Act when they told you this in 2005. This Act was brought in so that where part-timers could no longer be denied access to a pension scheme. As you work for the school and not an agency you have to be compared with full time school staff.
    The Act requires the employer to back date its contribtions back as far as 1995 and also pay all the back dated employee contributions. So tax should not be an issue.
    The form to fill in to claim the back dated contributions can be found on the pension advisory service website.
  5. Thank you so much about the Pension Act info. My employer said that 'the rules might have been different in 2005' , and when I offered to contact the TPS to verify what the rules were in 2005, I was told 'No. It is something we need to sort out.' I am very glad to have that information.
    I may well refer them to that form!

  6. Yes, I have been paying tax and NI, as I have a number of tax codes- being PT in 2 educational institutions and self-employed- which is the part of my earnings that I take my personal allowance from. I'd love to cut my hours down, but down to 2 hours a week would be taking it a bit far!


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