Most of the information you need should be in the relevant web site for your scheme.

Here are answers to some of the questions we are asked most frequently.

USS - FAQs - Web

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 
 
Do I have to join a pension scheme?
As an employer, the University must automatically enrol you into a pension scheme and make contributions to your pension if you’re eligible for automatic enrolment.
 
You can then choose to either remain in the scheme or opt out.
 
The scheme you are eligible to join will be confirmed in your contract of employment.
 
Why should I join a pension scheme?
Joining a pension scheme allows you to save for your retirement. Also, by joining a work pensions scheme, you can benefit from tax savings and employer contributions towards these savings.
 
What is auto-enrolment?
Under the Pensions Act 2008, every employer in the UK must put certain staff into a workplace pension scheme and contribute towards it. This is called 'automatic enrolment'.
 
We also have a legal requirement to auto-enrol all eligible employees every three years.
 
How can I opt out?

CRSP – If you have been automatically enrolled, you are entitled to opt out within one month of receiving your enrolment communication. Any contributions you have made will be returned to you. Upon receiving your enrolment communication, you can opt out via:

  • WorkSave Choice where you can log on using your enrolment code that was provided on your enrolment communication and follow the easy steps
  • Or, if don’t have online access you can call Legal & General on 0345 026 8982 to request that an opt out form is sent to your home address

USS – Contact the Pensions & Benefits Team

 
I am a casual worker. Can I join a pension scheme?
All casual workers who meet the age and earnings criteria will be automatically enrolled into the relevant pension scheme.
 
Can I join at a later date?
As part of your contract, all members of staff are eligible to join a pension scheme. Details of the relevant scheme will be outlined in your contract of employment.
 
Upon joining the University you will be automatically enrolled into your contracted pensions scheme and then auto re-enrolled every three years. If you have chosen to opt out of being in a pension scheme, you are eligible to re-enrol at any time.
 
If you wish to re-enrol into a pension scheme please contact the pensions team who will be able to support you with this.
 
Which scheme can I join?
The University offers various pensions schemes. The one you are eligible to join will depend your grade and position.
 
Details of the scheme you are eligible to join will be outlined in your contract of employment.
 
Please contact the pensions team if you are unsure which scheme this is.  
 
How much will I contribute?
While there is no limit on the amount that can be saved into your pensions each tax year, there is a limit on the total amount that can be saved with tax relief applying over both your lifetime and each tax year before a tax charge might apply.
 
The University will contribute up to  maximum amount per scheme and for the CRSP scheme, this is tiered on the basis of the your own contribution. For CPAS and USS, the University contributions are set at a fixed amount.
 
How much will the University contribute?
CPAS
EmployeeEmployer
 7.5% 27.9%

 

USS
EmployeeEmployer

From October 2021
9.8%

From October 2021
21.4%

 

CRSP
EmployeeEmployer
3% 6%
4% 8%
5% 10%
Over 5% 10%

 

NHS
EmployeeEmployer
Tiered according to salary
5% - 14.5%
14.38%
 
What happens to my pension when I go on maternity leave?
Your membership of the scheme will continue, the benefits that you are accruing and the contributions required at this time will depend on the scheme and the way that your normal contributions are made. More details are on the relevant schemes' web sites.
 
What happens if I go part-time?
You are still eligible to contribute to your contracted pension should you become a part-time employee, however, the amount deducted will be reduced.
 
Your pension contribution is deducted as a percentage of you pensionable Income (ie your salary) and as such, if you decide to work part-time and choose to continue your pension contributions, the same pension contribution percentage will be taken from your reduced pay.
 
You can choose to reduce your contributions or opt out of the scheme, but please remember that due to auto-enrolment every three years you will automatically be re-enrolled into your contracted scheme.
 
Can I increase my benefits by making additional contributions?

The simple answer to this is yes, but depending on the scheme you are enrolled in, the method in which your benefit will increase may be different. Please contact your individual scheme provider or seek specialist advice should you wish to explore your options further.

CRSP – If you decide that you would like to boost your pension savings, you can: 

  • Contact the Pensions Team if you wish to increase your regular contributions
  • Contact Legal & General directly if you want to make a one-off payment 

USS – If you want to save more, you can use the Investment Builder to top up your benefits.

 
Can I transfer in benefits from another scheme?
Yes, you are able to transfer benefits in from other schemes. Please contact your scheme administrator to discuss this further should you require further details.
 
At what age can I retire and take my pension?

For most schemes, the pension age is set to 65 years, however, depending on the scheme you are enrolled in there may be options to take your pension before this age. Please contact your scheme administrator to discuss this further should you have any further questions or follow the links below:

 
Can I retire early due to ill health?

In certain circumstances, and depending on the pension scheme you are eligible to join, you may be able to retire early due to ill health. Please contact your scheme administrator if you wish to discuss this further or follow the links below:

 
Can I reduce my hours and take some of my pension?

This may be possible depending on the scheme and your circumstances. Please contact your scheme administrator if you wish to discuss this further or follow the links below:

 
Can I retire and come back to work at the University?
Taking your pension does not exclude you from taking on future roles, although depending on the scheme, it may mean that you are unable to build up any future benefits in the scheme concerned.
 
What happens when I leave the University?
Your contributions and benefits will be frozen at the time you leave and will be protected until such a time as you either transfer them to another pension scheme or take the benefits on retirement. In a very limited set of circumstances, depending on the scheme and the way contributions have been made, you may be able to get a refund, however, this is only in the very early stages of contributing.
 
Where can I get financial advice?
This cannot be offered by the pension schemes or the University. You may wish to consult a suitably regulated independent financial advisor.