Transferring service into the Teachers' Pension Schemes
When you join the Teachers' Pension Schemes you can transfer your pension credit from a previous scheme provided that:
■ you apply for a transfer within 12 months of entering pensionable teaching service*
■ the previous scheme meets HMRC requirements
* If you are transferring a pension from another teachers' scheme in the UK, the 12 month time limit does not apply, however, the transfer must be requested before your actual retirement.
You can transfer most pension benefits, mainly those approved as a pension scheme by HMRC, such as public sector schemes (club schemes), personal pension plans and overseas schemes if they are a Qualified Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS). QROPS List
If you are transferring from a pension scheme other than another teachers' pensions scheme within the UK, you are not committing yourself to a transfer by making this enquiry. We will provide you with an "estimate" of the service credit that the transfer value from your former scheme will provide in the STSS. You will have the option to proceed with the transfer at this point and the decision is entirely yours to make.
Please note that SPPA staff are unable to provide financial advice and you should seek independent financial advice if you are not sure about your decision to transfer.
It is important to note that if you have been a member of a teachers' pension scheme elsewhere in the UK, your benefits will not transfer automatically to the STSS and the transfer must be requested from the receiving scheme.
Applying for a transfer into STSS
There are three main types of schemes which we can facilitate a transfer from:
■ teachers' pension schemes in England & Wales or Northern Ireland
■ public sector transfer arrangements (Club transfers)
■ occupational or personal pension schemes usually private sector pensions (Non - Club transfers)
After reading the guidance provided below on each type of scheme you should download and complete the form(s) relevant to your transfer(s).
1. Teachers' pension schemes in England & Wales or Northern Ireland
To apply for a transfer of benefits from another teachers' pension scheme in England & Wales or Northern Ireland please complete the application form TVINAPPCBS.
STSS have an arrangement with other teachers' schemes in the UK which provides the following benefits:
■ the service credit transferred may provide you with broadly the same amount of service in the STSS as held with your former teachers' pension
■ transfers are allowed out with the normal 12 month time limit and you may transfer at any time up until retirement, however, if you do not transfer before this date, this could slightly delay your retirement award application
Any membership held in Teachers' Pensions England & Wales will be transferred on receipt of the transfer request. Transfers from the Northern Ireland Teachers' Pension Scheme are treated slightly different and SPPA will provide you with an estimate of the service the transfer will credit
you with in the STSS.
Following the change in the STSS regulations as at 1 April 2007, it is now possible for a member to have service with a normal pension age
(NPA) of 60 and a NPA of 65. Such members are referred to in the regulations as a "person with mixed service".
How can a member or pensioner become a "person with mixed service"?
If a member was in pensionable employment before 1 April 2007 and returns to pensionable employment:
■ after a break of more than five years and then returns by 31 March 2007
■ at any point after 31 March 2007, the member or pensioner has a break of more than five years, their future service will have a NPA of 65 and accrual of pension at a rate of 1/60ths for each year of service with no automatic lump sum. Existing service will retain a NPA of 60 with 1/80ths accrual for each year of service and an automatic lump sum of 3 times the member's pension.
They will have "mixed service" with part of their service having an NPA of 60 and part of their service with an NPA of 65.
How can a member or pensioner not become a person with mixed service?
Provided a member or pensioner with pensionable employment before 1 April 2007 returns to pensionable employment on or before 31 March 2008, they will retain their NPA of 60, regardless of how long their break in service has been.
Provided there is no break in service of more than 5 years, the NPA will remain at 60.
2. Public Sector transfer arrangements (Club transfers)
To apply for a transfer of benefits from a Club scheme please complete the application form TVINCLUB.
If your previous pension scheme was within the public sector (e.g. Local Government, NHS, University staff, Armed Forces etc.), the transfer is calculated within the guidelines of the 'transfer club'. As the transfer factors used between these schemes are the same, then most transfers calculations will provide a comparable service credit with the one you had in your previous scheme.
If you are unsure whether your former scheme participates in the Transfer Club, you should ask the former scheme for confirmation.
An explanation of the Transfer Club arrangements and a list of membership is available by clicking on the links below:
3. Occupational or personal pension schemes (Non Club transfers)
To apply for a transfer of benefits from a Non Club scheme please complete the application form TVINNONCLUB.
These include occupational pension schemes, personal pensions, stakeholder plans and buy-out policies. On receipt of the TVINNONCLUB application form we will request a transfer value from your previous provider. The acceptance of transfers from these types of scheme is not guaranteed and depends on certain conditions. If all the relevant conditions are met, we will provide you with an estimate of the reckonable service credit this transfer value will purchase in the STSS. SPPA will inform you if we cannot accept the transfer and the reasons why.
Without all the relevant information we will be unable to process the transfer.
Guidance on completing the TVINNONCLUB form:
■ part A should be completed by you
■ part B should be sent to your current employer or payroll department and returned to you
■ parts A and B should be returned together to SPPA
Please do not request a transfer value directly from your former provider, SPPA will request these details on receipt of the TVINNONCLUB form.
Some pension providers will only supply one transfer value per year. If there is a guarantee date and the former pension providers options forms are not received by that date then they may you charge for another transfer value which can cost up to £300 or more.
SPPA will not be responsible for this charge and you will either have to pay the charge or wait a further year for a new "free" transfer value. Your current salary will be used in the calculation and this may be detrimental to the service credit you will be offered compared to a date of entry calculation.
The membership credit you receive is always dependent on the actual transfer payment received. If the actual payment we receive is lower than originally offered, even if the transfer is completed within the 12 month time limit, your membership credit will be adjusted in line with the payment
SPPA will not accept responsibility for any delays incurred either by you or your previous pension provider.
Transferring AVC Rights (Additional Voluntary Contributions)
We cannot accept transfers of AVC's to buy service in the STSS but a transfer can be made to Prudential who administer the Teachers in house AVC scheme. You may also transfer to a Free Standing Additional Voluntary Contributions arrangement of your own choice. SPPA will not accept monies in respect of AVC's. Transfers of AVC's must be arranged between yourself, the former scheme and the in house provider or provider of your choice.
You can contact the Prudential directly for more detailed information:
Teachers AVC Department
Telephone: 0845 070 2456
It is our preferred option that you apply for the transfer by using the application forms available on the website as these will provide SPPA with all the necessary information to efficiently process your transfer request.
If you are unable to download the application forms or require any further information, please contact us using the details below.
Telephone: 01896 893000 asking for "Transfers" when prompted
Fax: 01896 893214
7 Tweedside Park
If you contact us by letter or email please ensure that you include the following information:
■ details of you previous pension provider including a current address
■ dates that you were a member of that scheme
■ date of birth
■ national insurance number
■ superannuation reference number (if known)
■ marital status
■ current employers' details
■ start date of current employment
Further information about transferring in can be found on the following factsheets: