November 2013

The know zone

  • Pensions unpicked
    Thought about retirement yet? However far off it may be, start looking now at your options, says David Binnie. There may be unforeseen complications but also opportunities. More
  • Squeezed middle
    Schools may need to become lean and mean in order to adapt to new funding levels, says Sam Ellis, or they may find themselves facing a budget crisis. More
  • Raising the stakes
    Ofsted judgements look likely to be tougher in key areas under the revised guidance introduced in September, says Jan Webber. And the bar is being set higher for achieving ‘good’. More
  • Leading education
    ASCL exists to reflect and promote the views of its members, which is why ASCL Council is so important. ASCL Council is made up of 148 elected representatives and is the association’s policy-making body, meeting four times a year. Council members represent ASCL at meetings with government officials and other organisations. It is from Council that national officers, including the president, are elected. In each edition of Leader this year, we will spotlight the work of a particular committee of Council. This month, it is the turn of the Education Committee. More
  • Council focus
    What does it mean to be a Council rep? More
  • ASCL PD events
    New to the leadership team, Leadership for Outstanding Performance, and Homerun for Headship More
  • First term almost over
    ASCL Professional Development (PD) offers high-quality, relevant, up-to-date and competitively priced courses. Our training is delivered by a team of skilled trainers and consultants, almost all of whom have been headteachers or senior school leaders. More
  • How do you say?
    Focus on... 1,000-words challenge More
  • Adding value
    Time to protect your pension pot? More
  • Food for thought
    The government plans to spend £600 million on free school meals (FSM) for every child in a state-funded infant school and disadvantaged students in further education. Is this a good idea? Is this money well spent or should it be spent elsewhere? Here ASCL members share their views. More
  • Leaders' surgery
    The antidote to common leadership conundrums... More
  • Choice language?
    Would you like IT with your G&T? Or, like Eric Hester, are you bemused by the proliferation of acronyms? More
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Adding value

Time to protect your pension pot?

Next April the lifetime allowance (LTA) for pensions will fall to £1.25m. Benefits paid from your pension scheme in excess of the LTA – whether lump sums or income – trigger an extra tax charge.

Many people will be affected. However, this is a complex area and you will need professional advice.

You could be affected if you are on track for a final salary pension of more than £75,000 pa or a salary-related pension of more than £56,250 plus the maximum tax-free cash lump sum.

What action can you take?

Find out the value of your teacher’s pension plus any AVCs and other pensions you have.

  • Contribute as much as possible in the 2013/14 tax year – you may be able to use carry-forward and more than one in-put period.
  • Apply for fixed or individual protection. However, further contributions must cease.
  • Book a complimentary consultation with ASCL premier partner Lighthouse Financial Advice.

Their professional financial advisers understand how the teachers’ pensions work, can explain your options in a straightforward way and provide the guidance you need to make informed decisions.