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Home Publications The value of teachers' pensions in England and Wales

The value of teachers' pensions in England and Wales

Richard Disney, Carl Emmerson and Gemma Tetlow
Journal article | Fiscal Studies, Vol. 31, No. 1, March 2010

The paper examines in detail the value of pension provision to teachers in the public sector in England and Wales, comparing pension accrual under both the pre- and the post-2007 schemes. We find that, at the median, pension accruals under the old scheme rules were worth 14.7 per cent of current salary to members, while if the new scheme rules were applied to all current members this would fall to 11.2 per cent. We find that this reduction in generosity is more than sufficient to offset the increase in generosity implied by rising life expectancies over the last quarter of a century. In addition, we show how the estimates depend on both the shape of the underlying age-earnings profile and the headline pay award. We find that the value of the new scheme rules to Teachers' Pension Scheme (TPS) members is similar to the value of the defined contribution pension offered to civil servants, but worth more than a simple, example, private sector defined contribution scheme.