Pension prospects

TEACHERS frightened by Ray Battersby’s claim (County Times July 7) that most of them won’t live more than three years in retirement should try not to panic. Mr Battersby is mistaken.

The normal retirement age for teachers at present is 60. The Office of National Statistics tells us that a 60-year-old teacher can expect to live to the age of 79 if male, or 82 if female, so a nice long 20-year retirement beckons.

For further comfort, teachers can visit their own pensions website. By keying in their career start date and current salary they’ll see more good news. A teacher retiring today after a routine career will receive an annual pension of £17,459. Naturally it’s index-linked for life.

In addition, on their very first day of retirement, they’ll receive a nice little bonus, a lump sum cheque for £52,377. A lovely gift and, naturally, it’s tax free.

In total our retired teacher can expect to receive nearly half a million pounds, a prospect that surely dispels those Battersby blues. And here comes the best bit: their pension payout will be at least four times more than the total sum of their entire career pension contributions.

All that remains now is for Mr Battersby to predict the life expectancy of the taxpayers who will be working until they drop dead to pay for all this.

J. MANN

Warnham Road, Horsham