NEU members have heard a wide range of self-serving, and bogus, employer arguments for why they should agree to surrender the TPS. Some are scaremongering, others downright dishonest.
Here is a list of some of the common disinformation.
- “Everyone else has left”: simply untrue. It is dishonest and disreputable for an employer to say this in order to deprive someone of their TPS pension.
- “The scheme will collapse within two years”: scurrilous scaremongering.
- “They are introducing exit fees”: there are no such plans. Ask to see the evidence: there isn’t any.
- “TPS is vulnerable as it is an entirely an unfunded scheme”: the TPS is a notionally funded scheme, as although there is no designated pot of money, it is state-backed and subject to all the necessary regulatory processes, including periodic valuation. Private schemes are written under either contract or trust. The TPS and other public sector schemes are written under statutory regulations and statute. This makes the claims stronger as the covenant (stemming from the state) is stronger.
- “The proposed alternative scheme offers similar benefits”: this is unlikely in the extreme. By common consent, the types of schemes being proposed will not offer anything like the benefits provided by the TPS.
- “This is not a cost cutting exercise”: a disingenuous argument. If not, for what benefit is it being done? If staff oppose, will the employer withdraw the proposals?
- “TPS is inflexible and employees will benefit from being able to pay less into an alternative scheme”: a disingenuous argument. It is true that the employee contribution is set. It is true that lower employee contributions might appeal. But the significant reduction in pension is borne by only one person – the teacher. There are some illustrative calculations of the potential loss on the Protecting independent school teachers' pensions webpage.