The Department for Education has issued serious concern about teachers who 'retire' under the ARB scheme and then continue at the same school after a notional day's break. There has to be a genuine cessation of employment for pension benefits to be paid. The notification is reproduced below. For a teacher to take ARB retirement, they have to resign and stop work. Schools should then take the normal steps to recruit to any ensuing post which may be available and should not agree to an arrangement for a teacher to just carry on teaching after one day's break. The Phased Retirement scheme is the appropriate one in such cases. Headteachers should contact Strategic HR on the contact details on the right for advice if required.
Early retirement for teachers with actuarial adjustment (ARB Retirement) - employer consent and certification for ‘in-service’ applications
The DfE has registered concern that employers may be certifying applications for early payment of benefits before normal pension age on an actuarially-adjusted basis (otherwise known as ARB) in circumstances where the person is not actually leaving the post. It seems that employers may be certifying ARB applications on the basis that the person is arranging a token break in service (perhaps for as little as one day) and is immediately returning to (or continuing in) the same post. This would constitute an invalid certification for payment of ARB.
The ARB arrangements fall into two categories, but both are based on the premise that the person has left the employment (and that the employment ended after 29 March 2000).
There is nothing in the TP regulations that would negate a person’s entitlement to ARB if they took up a new post after as little as one day (a person has to be out of pensionable employment or excluded employment for any retirement benefit to be paid). The DfE recognises that an employer might, in the fullness of time, find it necessary to ask a person to return to the post if they have not succeeded in filling the vacancy. The nature of the consent requirement is such that it would not be right for an employer to certify an application for ‘in-service’ ARB when, in reality, the person is continuing in the same employment with no break in the contract (i.e. arranging a day (or few days) without pay or the person is arranging a nominal break whilst planning to immediately return to the same post.
The DfE suggests that, in these circumstances, the certification would be questionable and employers are asked to take care and ensure that applications for ‘in-service’ ARB are submitted only where there is a genuine cessation of employment.