Thursday, 30 June 2011

Is there a retired teacher in your shed ?

According to the Daily Mail, teachers pensions cost "every British family £13,500". It was in the Mail, so it must be true, surely ?

Hang on one moment. The average teacher's pension is £10,000. That means that there must be more retired teachers than working families. Millions of them. Have you seen them ? Perhaps you could all check in the shed, under the stairs, behind the settee etc. to see if you've got a retired teacher there ?

How on earth do they come up with these figures ? One common trick is to look at the value of all current and future teachers pensions, and then divide the figure by the number of families etc, to get an eye-watering figure. What they don't take into account is...

We PAY for our pensions. They are not a handout from the taxpayer, they are a financial product we BUY from the government.

20.5% of our monthly salary is paid, by us and our school's contribution, into the scheme. This goes directly to the treasury, who in turn commit to pay out our pensions benefits when we retire. The scheme is overdue for a revaluation, and the unions are already committed as part of the 2006 deal, that if the revaluation of the scheme shows that increases in contributions are genuinely needed, teachers would pay them.

Why won't the Government do a revaluation of the scheme and tell us how much of our money is in it ? Because they know that it will prove the scheme is sustainable. Will the Daily Mail tell you that ? Of course they won't.

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