Unjustified pension changes will deter new recruits

The majority of teachers cannot afford to pay more for their pension and believe the adverse changes to teachers’ pensions will deter new recruits from entering the profession, new figures from the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, show.

Over three quarters (78%) of teachers stated that they cannot afford to pay further increases in pensions contributions. This follows the announcement from the Treasury last month that despite having imposed increases on teachers for the last three years, contribution rates are likely to continue to increase from 2015.

83% of teachers believe that the adverse changes imposed on teachers’ pensions are having a negative impact on recruitment to the profession.

The findings have been released as representatives at the NASUWT’s Annual Conference in Birmingham debate a motion opposing the Coalition Government’s public sector pension reforms.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“The Coalition Government has not produced a scrap of evidence to demonstrate that teachers’ pensions were either unaffordable or unsustainable to justify the raid it has conducted on teachers’ pensions for the last three years.

“Teachers have suffered a triple financial whammy of a pay freeze, increased pension contributions and barriers to pay progression.

“They are now paying more for fewer benefits which they have to work longer to secure.

“More and more teachers, particularly those aged between 25 and 34, are now opting out of the pension scheme for personal financial reasons, threatening its viability.

“Equally concerning is the fact that legislation recently enacted gives ministers the power to make further adverse changes to contributions, scheme design and pension age without reference to Parliament.

“When combined with all the other adverse changes to teachers’ pay and conditions, the pension costs and uncertainty will undoubtedly deter potential recruits.”


NASUWT Press Office contacts:
Ben Padley 07785 463 119
Lena Davies 07867 392 746
Amanda Williamson 07741 246 202

Notes to editors
The NASUWT’s Annual Conference is being held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Birmingham from 18-21 April.

The NASUWT Big Question survey is an annual survey of teachers on a range of issues affecting their wellbeing and professionalism. Over 12,000 teachers responded to the 2014 survey.

The table below is an NASUWT analysis of the impact on teachers’ salaries of the increases in teachers’ pensions contributions between 2012 and 2014.