Independent Schools are not automatically enrolled in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS). The school you work for may have opted to join the scheme, as part of their pension requirement or they may have made alternative pension arrangements.

From September 2019 schools faced a significant increase in the level of contributions they were required to pay into the TPS and many are finding ongoing membership commercially unviable and are now looking to implement alternative arrangements.   Schools in the Independent Sector participate in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme voluntarily, consequently they are permitted to leave the scheme at any time.

Changing pension schemes, especially moves to lower cost options often lead to a changes in a the benefits provided to staff at their retirement.  To maintain employee motivation and good will it is important that schools engage pro-actively with union officials and employee representatives.

This one day course is designed to help employee reps understand the background drivers behind the need to withdraw from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, understand the legislation that relates to such changes, together with the general pros and cons that alternative schemes typically offer.  Building on this it considers the role of the employee rep when participating in collective consultations, and liaising with the employees they represent.


  1. Stock Taking – How we got here and what next 
  • Introduction
  • Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS)
  • September 2019 changes to the TPS
  • Drivers behind the need to change
  • Relationship to employment contracts and state pensions 

2. Key Definitions and Terms 

  • What is a Pension Scheme
  • Pensions Regulator 
  • Pensions Dashboard 
  • Defined Benefits Schemes
    • Final salary
    • Career Average
  • Defined Contribution/Money Purchase Schemes 
    • Pension Funds
    • SIPP
    • Annuities
    • Drawdown
  • Deferred Pensions

3. Differing Pensions Schemes Pros and Cons

  • Defined Benefit
  • Defined Contribution

4. The Legal Framework 

  • Pension Enrolment
  • Contracts of Employment
  • Inferred conditions of employment

5. Consultation on Changes to Pension arrangements

  • Changes to contracts of employment – the legal position 
  • Collective consultations

6. Definitions and scope

  • rules, hints, tips 

7. Further resources and support 

8. Action Points 

  • The role of the employee rep in collective consultations 
  • The activities and tasks that reps may be involved in during collective consultations 
  • Signposting skills needed 

9. Skills Development – Hints and Tips

  • Active Listening
  • Assertiveness
  • Communication
  • Presentations and Public Speaking
  • Meetings – planning and process
  • Negotiations – planning and conduct
  • Observation
  • Questioning Techniques
  • Working well with others


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