Seamus Searson the General Secretary would like to meet with SSTA members to discuss the issues that face secondary teachers and how we protect and improve conditions for members. The General Secretary will also give an update on Pay, Workload and the New Qualifications. A list of dates and venues are below.
At this meeting there will be an important update on the new Scottish Teachers 2015 Pension Scheme and how it could impact on your future plans.
The Scottish Teachers’ 2015 Pension Scheme
Following the launch of the new Scottish Teachers’ 2015 Pension scheme, on 1 April 2015, we have seen an increase in the number of people seeking guidance. The main focus has been on how the scheme will operate and what actions can be taken to help secure retirement at a reasonable age.
The new scheme has members that have ‘no protection’, ‘tapered protection’ and ‘protected status’ all dependent upon the teachers’ age on the 1 April 2015. In addition, there are various schemes to top-up your pension. However, there is a new arrangement called Early Retirement Reduction Buy Out (ERRBO). This option lets you pay extra contributions to reduce or remove the early retirement reduction if you retire before normal pension age. The ERRBO option is only available for 6 months after joining the new scheme. The clock started ticking for some members on the 1 April 2015. Do attend the ‘Meet the General Secretary’ meetings to get more information.
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On 16 March SPPA wrote out to all scheme members who had either no protection or tapered protection setting out the changes being introduced from 1 April 2015. Enclosed with each letter was a leaflet which included details of the Early Retirement Buy Out Reduction and that there is a time limit of 6 months to request this option.
The 20 day turnaround time is a target set by SPPA and is not set out in the regulations nor any scheme literature. Any application received up to and including the period of 6 months from the date of joining the scheme will be accepted. In addition, where an enquiry is made within 6 months of joining the scheme which results in a quote being issued by SPPA outside the 6 month time limit, then any subsequent election made within a reasonable time of that quote being issued can be accepted. The scheme regulations provide for an extension of time limits and elections received after the 6 month time limit in these circumstances will be considered under that discretion.