On April 2016 a new single-tier pension system is was introduced to replace the current system of a basic state pension and an earnings-related state second pension.

  • Level of the proposed pension: The new state pension will be set at £155.65 a week in April 2016. 
  • Qualifying conditions: Thirty-five qualifying years of NICs or credits would be needed for a full single-tier pension. Currently it takes 30 years to get the full basic state pension.
  • Abolition of contracting out: The introduction of the new state pension ended ‘contracting out’. Prior to April 2016 the Teachers’ Pension Scheme was contracted out of the state second pension. From April 2016, teachers will pay an additional 1.4 per cent in NICs (on earnings between £5,824 and £40,040 in 2016-2017)
  • Transition to new scheme: Accrued rights to the state second pension built up under the old system would be recognised (but not fully respected) under the new system.
  • Existing pensioners: Pensioners who reached state pension age before the introduction of the single tier pension will retire on the current system. Their pensions will be upgraded according to current rules (currently triple lock for the basic state pension, CPI inflation for the state second pension).

Increase in state pension age

The Department for Work and Pensions has proposed an acceleration of the increase in the state pension age to 68. 

Under the proposed new timetable, the State Pension age will increase to 68 between 2037 and 2039. This is earlier than the current legislation which sees a rise between 2044 and 2046. The change will affect everyone born between 6 April 1970 and 5 April 1978. No one born on or before 5 April 1970 will see a change to their current proposed state pension age.

This increase would directly affect some members of the career average section of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. The default position is that the normal pension age (the age at which you can get your pension rights in full) increases in line with state pension age.

The NEU opposes increases in the state pension age. We believe that teachers cannot be expected to work into their late 60s.

State pension increase for women

The 1995 Pensions Act provided for the state pension age for men and women to be equalised at 65 by April 2020. Women's state pension age started to rise from 60 in April 2010 - for women born between April 1950 and April 1955, the pension age was progressively increased towards 65, while for women born after April 1955, the state pension age was increased immediately to 65.

The 2011 Pensions Act then accelerated the implementation of the increase in women's state pension age to 65 by November 2018, and the implementation of the increase to 66 for both men and women by April 2020.

To check when you can take your pension visit the Government's website.