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    TPS – it’s not just about pensions

    24 November 2022

    Anne Drugnick

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    2 minute read

    Considering what to do as regards to the TPS? Don't forget the extra benefits!

    With costs on the rise and uncertainty potentially on the horizon, many schools are still considering what to do as regards to the Teachers’ Pensions Scheme (TPS) and its Scottish equivalents.

    Although the main consideration is no doubt the pension scheme itself and the alternatives available should a school leave, when thinking about remaining or leaving it’s important for schools not to forget the extra benefits available through TPS in addition to the pension itself. Leaving the TPS would mean you will need to consider alternatives to these benefits too.

    For example, Group Life Assurance can provide invaluable protection to your staff and their families in the worst-case scenario of the death of a staff member, whilst Ill-health/Income Protection helps provide financial certainty and security if someone is unwell for a long period and unable to work.

    It’s important to look at these early as part of any TPS review, in order to ensure you can get the right combination of cover, at the most competitive price. Your teachers will certainly expect these valuable benefits to have been considered and how this impacts them as part of any consultation.

    At Punter Southall Aspire, our Health and Protection team is integrated within our overall client service. This means we’re ideally placed to help schools by working as one team from the outset with the pension experts who would be involved in any TPS review project.

    Below is a little taster of the experience we’ve gained in this area from our work with independent schools:

    1. Income Protection longevity
      Income Protection can be bought for short periods of 2-5 years but this doesn’t give the long term protection that a Teacher would get with an ill health early retirement pension from the TPS - so cover to state pension age is recommended despite the extra cost.

    2. What are you already offering?
      Consider what insurance you already offer and have in place for any support staff, as sometimes existing policies can be extended to cover more people more easily than setting up something new from scratch.

    3. Pre-existing conditions
      Reassure staff regarding existing medical conditions which are generally covered under Group policies as long as an employee is actively at work when the policy starts.

    4. What about supply and other staff contract types?
      Insuring supply and peri teachers or those on zero hours contracts can be tricky but it is achievable for Group Life Assurance although more complex for Income Protection.

    5. Insurer “freebies” which can support employee wellbeing
      Many insurers are offering good quality Employee Assistance Programmes and some insurers Virtual GP services for free as part of the insurance contract. If this is something which you think would be of value with supporting the wellbeing of teaching and support staff, we can gear our recommendations towards these insurers.
    1. Look carefully at APTIS cover
      Aviva’s “off the shelf” APTIS solution does offer good value but the cover it provides is not always fit for purpose in our experience, particularly on Income Protection. Participation in APTIS for pension saving does not mean that you have to use the protection solutions.

    Please do come and talk to us about how we can help with wider benefits for your teaching and support staff. We’d love to start a conversation with you.

    We're ideally placed to help schools by working as one team from the outset with the pension experts who would be involved in any TPS review project.

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