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31 January 2013
Responding to the announcement by the Department for Education that they are increasing contributions to the Teachers' Pension Scheme (TPS) for the second year running, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers' union, said:
“The announcement of the increase in pension contributions comes on top of the unjustified contributions increase introduced in 2012, and at the same time as the continuing freeze on teachers' pay and the constant attacks and denigration of the teaching profession.
“As a result of the agreement by the Department of Education (DfE) and those representing a minority of the teaching profession, teachers are now facing the prospect of having to pay more and work considerably longer for a pension that will be worth substantially less.
“The contributions increase is an unjustifiable tax on teachers.
“The Coalition Government has refused to undertake the actuarial valuation that would provide objective evidence about whether or not it is necessary for pension contributions to increase.
“The worsening of teachers' pensions will result in many dedicated and committed teachers leaving the profession and make it even more difficult to recruit new teachers.
“A recent NASUWT survey of over 16,000 teachers found that 79% of teachers will not be able to afford the Government's planned increases to pension contributions.
“There is not one shred of evidence to show that teachers' pensions are unaffordable or unsustainable.
“At a time of austerity, the Coalition Government is taking a reckless gamble which will leave taxpayers bearing an increased financial burden if more teachers opt out of the pension scheme.
“The NASUWT and its members will continue the campaign of opposition to these disgraceful attacks on the profession.”