The government has opened a consultation into the proposed new TPS regulations, seeking views on the draft amendments to survivor benefits and to introduce phased withdrawal of independent schools.
In November 2020, we reported that the DfE had published its response to the phased withdrawal consultation and confirmed that it would be taking steps to amend the TPS rules to allow independent schools to opt out of the TPS for future employees (a phased withdrawal).
The DfE has now prepared the draft amendment to the regulations and is inviting the public to provide their views via this consultation. The amendments have addressed a number of concerns arising from the original consultation, including confirming that independent schools opting for phased withdrawal will be able to fully opt back in at a future date if they wish to do so.
The intention is that the new regulations would be in place for 1 August 2021. A school would become an accepted phased withdrawal school on the first day of the month after a successful application was made and therefore this would allow for phased withdrawal from September 2021. This will be welcome news for many independent schools that are considering their options in relation to TPS from the next academic year.
The consultation is also seeking views on some other changes to the TPS regulations, the most significant of which is to address the discrimination in how the rules applied to survivor benefits.
The proposed amendments to the TPS rules will provide for equal survivors’ benefits payable to the opposite-sex spouse or civil partner of a female member as would be paid to a same-sex spouse or civil partner of a female member.
The consultation is open until 1 June 2021 and we encourage schools to submit their response.
The consultation can be accessed here.