Returning to work after receiving pension benefits

Information on entitlement to drawing your teacher's pension whilst working as a teacher, how abatement works and what you should do if you return to teaching.


The information in this fact sheet does not apply if you have retired on grounds of ill health.  If you are in receipt of ill health retirement benefits, see fact sheet on the Department's website at TNC Circular 2013/01 - Ill health retirement benefits and re-employment

Can I draw my teacher’s pension and work as a teacher?

Yes, you will remain entitled to your pension.  If you have taken phased retirement or actuarially reduced benefits your pension will not be affected.  If however you retired on age or premature grounds your pension may be abated.

How does abatement work?

Your pension may be stopped if, in any tax year, your annual pensions plus earnings exceeds the highest salary in your average salary period (‘salary of reference’) plus pensions increase.  Your pension may also be reduced during that tax year where it is identified that earnings plus pension may exceed ‘salary of reference’, but it will recommence at the start of the following tax year. 

What should I do if I return to teaching?

You must notify Teachers’ Pensions Team (TPT) immediately, in writing or e-mail. TPT will then provide you with your Annual Earnings Limit (AEL) for the tax year.  If you have retired due to Infirmity you must always immediately notify TPT of all teaching and non-teaching employment, as this may affect your entitlement to continue to receive the pension.

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