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Pensions: missing service

NAHT is aware of members having issues with missing service in their pension scheme. It is very important that members check their pension scheme service history and take steps to correct this if it's wrong.

When there is missing service on your record this does not necessarily mean that you or your employer have missed any contribution payments. Missing service is usually caused by details not having been provided correctly to Teachers' Pensions, which results in a gap in service record.

If you have missing service, you'll need to speak to the relevant employer for that service period and ask them to update your record accordingly. This will then be reflected on your service history and benefit statement.

This process to correct missing service can be long and fraught (and in some instances unsuccessful) because, as noted above, your employer at the time of any missing service has to put this right and if they don't hold the relevant records then they may not be able to do this. The increase in the number of separate employers and the increasing use of outsourced payroll services has made it more difficult to get the necessary documentation from previous employers, so do not leave this until just before applying for the pension – we strongly recommend checking all your service as soon as possible and then making a note to check this once a year after that,as NAHT is unable to intervene in this area and there is also an obligation on you, as the member, to check your service history to ensure that it's accurate. It worth noting that those at most risk of incomplete records are those who have moved employer regularly or who have had breaks, such as a period of maternity leave.

We also strongly recommend that you check your salary slip each month to ensure pension contributions have been deducted and that you keep these payslips so you can evidence payment if ever needed in the future. Checking and updating your record regularly (if needed) and keeping this sort of evidence is important to ensure that you don't lose any pensionable service.

To check your pension online, you need to have registered for 'My Pension Online' through the Teachers' Pensions website. Once logged in to the secure portal you will be able to check and manage your pension online, including a personalised estimate of your retirement benefits based on the service and salary details sent to the pension by your employer. You will also be able to update personal details and change your death grant nominees.

First published 22 July 2021