Teacher Support Network

The helpline dedicated to school teachers and staff in FE and HE

Retirement for Teachers

Our guide to preparing for your retirement - from your legal requirements to tell your school, college or university through to budget advice and guidance on maximising your enjoyment of your new-found time.

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Once you have reached the recommended retirement age of 65, you are entitled to retire at the end of the term in which you attain the age 65. Owing to new regulations your employer is required to notify you of your approaching contractual retirement date between six and 12 months in advance of your 65th birthday.

Planning to retire

Informing your school

Once you have reached the recommended retirement age of 65, you are entitled to retire at the end of the term in which you attain the age 65. Owing to new regulations you employer is required to notify you of your approaching contractual retirement date between six and 12 months in advance of your 65th birthday.

Remaining in employment

Once you have reached the age of 65 you may decide that you would like to continue your employment. Your school has a duty to consider such a request and follow a procedure called ‘the duty to consider’. As an employee you must make this request in writing no later than three months before your due retirement date as notified by the school.

Early Retirement

Securing early retirement can be a difficult process and is usually only possible owing to ill health, redundancy or on the grounds of efficiency. If you are hoping to claim early retirement on any of these grounds, it is important you are aware that this may affect your benefits. Our factsheets on early retirement can help you address some of these issues.

Retiring due to ill health

Once again, retiring due to ill-health isn’t often easy, but if you do wish to apply for ill-health retirement, this must be done through your employer alongside your occupational health advisors and GP to gather necessary evidence. For further information on eligibility, possible payments and application, contact your union or view the information in the Retirement Planning Guide on the Teachers Pension website:

Planning your pension

Once you have made the decision to retire, you need to start thinking about your savings and financial matters, in order to make the process as stress free as possible.

You can get a pension forecast from the Teachers' Pension Agency (TPA) which helps you calculate your likely pension benefits and also enables you to check that there are no discrepancies in your teaching record as held by the TPA.

You may also discover you are entitled to Pension Credit which has replaced Income Support or Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG) for those over 60. Pension Credit can be used to ‘top up’ your weekly income and more information can be found on NIDirect Government Services website.

If you need further information or advice regarding your pension, contact your union.

Grants

Occasionally teaching staff who are retiring may be eligible for a grant, which can aid you if struggling financially. Teacher Support Network has its own Grants team, who can assist you with any queries or questions you may have regarding availability and eligibility.

Budgeting

Without a regular income retirement can often be a difficult time financially and we understand that planning for the future without full-time work can be daunting. Teacher Support Network has hints, tips and advice to help make your money go further by making every penny count during difficult times.

Make a budget
Ideas for spending less
More tips
  • To really get control of your finances, you need to see what you are spending your money on. Creating a simple budget to monitor your income and expenditure is not difficult, but can help you make the most out of your money. Here are some hints and tips on creating your budget.
  • Often, you can save a surprising amount of money simply by changing some old habits. Try:

    • buying second hand
    • switching to supermarket ‘own brand’ foods
    • using discount vouchers
    • ensuring all electrical appliances are switched off unless in use
    • looking for free activities such as visits to free museums, attractions, gigs, comedy shows, classes or workshops. 
  • For further advice on budgeting and making the most out of your money, call our Support Line or try these factsheets:

Relationships

Once you have retired you may find that the time you spend out of work has an impact on your personal relationships. Whilst in employment you may not realise how much of a difference your new free time may make, but common issues such as spending more time with a partner, or finding your loved ones may be ill or have passed away may affect you in all sorts of ways.

If you are finding that you need any help and advice regarding relationships or need support if dealing with bereavement, you may find these factsheets useful:

Dealing with the stress of retirement

Many people who are planning their retirement can be surprised at just how stressful the process can be or may not be prepared for the challenges that the start of this new phase of life can bring. These factsheets will help you manage your stress levels, so that you can focus on enjoying your retirement.

What to do now…

Now that you are retiring, you could discover that a whole range of opportunities open up for you , now that you are away from the pressures of a full-time job. You may also be looking for things to do to help use your free time in a positive and useful way.

Retirement is a great time to learn new skills and rediscover old ones, whilst engaging with other like-minded individuals in a relaxed, happy environment. 

An increasing number of retired teachers are volunteering on behalf of Teacher Support Network in a whole range of areas from fundraising to PR and media to translation to running workshops or becoming TSN Champions. To find out how you can get involved, follow the links below: