Junior Doctors and Teachers: Pensions

Department of Health written question – answered on 16th September 2016.

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Photo of Andrea Jenkyns Andrea Jenkyns Conservative, Morley and Outwood

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the average employer pension contribution is for a (a) junior doctor and (b) teacher; and what the average private sector employer contribution is under the workforce pension.

Photo of Philip Dunne Philip Dunne The Minister of State, Department of Health

The table below shows average employer contribution in terms of rates and cash amounts. When comparing the contribution rates payable for the public service schemes the different benefit structures of each scheme should be taken into account.

Average pensionable pay (£)

Average employer contribution rate (%)1

Average employer contribution per member (£)

Junior doctors2








Civil servants4








Police officers4




Private sector (DB)




Private sector (CARE)



Private sector (DC)



1 The employer contribution rates quoted for the public sector schemes are taken from the latest published 2012 valuation reports National Health Service Pension Scheme, Teachers' Pension Scheme, Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme, Firefighters’ Pension Schemes and Police Pension Schemes and payable by employers from 1 April 2015 to 1 April 2019.

2 The average pensionable pay figure here is for a junior doctor on the consultant training path, assuming an average total pay amount of £53,000 per annum of which £37,000 per annum is basic and thus pensionable. These figures are based on NHS Digital data as at June 2015.

3 The average pensionable pay figure for teachers is taken from the 2012 Teachers’ Pension Scheme valuation report, by averaging the pensionable pay amounts for actives with Normal Pension Age (NPA) 60 and NPA 65.

4 The average pensionable pay figures for civil servants, firefighters and police officers are taken from the 2012 valuation report.

5 The average pensionable pay figure for the private sector is taken from table 6 of the Office of National StatisticsAnnual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2015. The survey refers to a single pay figure for members across all schemes, however in practice we would expect members of Defined Benefit (DB) schemes to be higher earners. It is also not clear how much of this pay figure is pensionable. Note the public and private sectors have workforces which are composed quite differently making comparison difficult.

6 The contribution rates for the private sector are taken from the Occupational Pension Schemes Survey: 2014. The average DB contribution rate also takes account of the contributions paid into Career Average Revalued Earning (CARE) schemes.

7 The average Defined Contribution (DC), contribution rate of 2.9% has fallen since previous analysis was performed, following the introduction of auto enrolment legislation. This may be due to a rise in the number of new members paying the minimum rates which will pull the average down. The minimum contribution rates required under auto enrolment will rise from 1% to 2% in April 2018 and 3% in April 2019. It should be noted that the 2.9% represents the average contribution rate actually paid by employers rather than the maximum rate employers may offer to pay (due to matching contribution structures).

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