The number of teachers retiring early hit its highest point in 15 years last year as they face reform to their pension scheme.
The government is in negotiations with teaching unions over reform to the Teachers Pension Scheme (TPS) as part of wider changes to public sector pensions.
According to figures from the Department for Education (DfE), in 2011 almost 9,000 teachers began drawing their pensions before their statutory retirement age.
This is the highest number of early retirees in the TPS since 1997, the Daily Mail reports.
Teachers who joined the scheme after 2007 can retire at 65, but those who joined before 2007 can start drawing their benefits at 60.
Under the reforms, teachers who are more than 10 years from retirement will see their retirement age raise to 67 or 68, as the government aims to link public sector workers' occupational retirement ages to the state pension age.
The figures show 8,880 teachers retired in 2010/11, which is 1,570 more than in 2009/10.
On average, teachers retiring in 2010/11 received £15,000 per year from their final salary schemes, excluding pension commencement lump sums (PCLS).
In 1998/99, just 2,370 teachers retired before the state pension age.
Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said for teachers, the pressure of paperwork and meeting standards for Ofsted inspections is added to by "pay freezes and threats to pensions".
A DfE spokesperson said: "It is no surprise that teachers who joined the profession in the 1970s might choose to draw their pensions early, as is their right."
In December last year, the major teaching unions signed an agreement on some basic reforms to the TPS.
Negotiations have continued this year.
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