In a move to encourage greater long-term saving by individuals towards their retirement, new legislation (The Pensions Act 2008) requires the University to automatically enrol people into a pension scheme if they are not already in one and where they meet certain criteria. The aim is to help more people have another income, in addition to their State Pension, when they retire. The UK is not the first country to introduce a scheme of this kind. Similar arrangements operate in a number of other countries (e.g. Norway and New Zealand).
The legislation is being phased in over the coming years with the largest employers complying from October 2012. The University will be covered by the new requirement from 1st May 2013 (this is known as our ‘staging date’).
- For all staff members who are currently active members of one of the University’s pension schemes there will be no change and no action will be required. If you are already a member of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) or the Scottish Teachers’ Superannuation Scheme (STSS), then this does not immediately affect you. Your pension scheme membership won’t be affected and there is no action you need to take. The University will be writing to all staff members (irrespective of whether they are currently in a pension scheme or not) nearer our staging date to explain the changes in more detail and to advise what action is required, if any.
- For some other staff groups who do not currently pay into a pension scheme, including those on worker contracts, the University will be required, by law, to enrol them into a qualifying pension scheme if they meet all of the following criteria:
- Age - if they are between 22 and the State Pension Age (currently 65)
- Earnings - if earnings in any month are greater than £787.00 (in the tax year 2013/14)
- Working in the UK - if they ordinarily work in the UK
- Pension Scheme Membership -they are not a contributing member of one of the pension schemes supported by the University.
- The qualifying pension schemes supported by the University are;
Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) - for all staff on Grades 6 or above, and to staff on Grades 1 to 5 who commenced employment with the University between 1 April 2003 and 31 December 2016.
Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) - for certain staff who commenced employment with the University prior to 1 April 2003, or from 1 January 2017 onwards.
Scottish Teachers Superannuation Scheme (STSS) – for staff already members of this scheme at the point of the merger between the University and Jordanhill College of Education.
- For staff members who are not enrolled automatically, the University has to provide the opportunity to opt into a scheme.
- The University is using USS, LGPS and STSS to fulfil its obligations under auto enrolment.
- Any member of staff, once enrolled, may elect to opt out of the scheme and staff will have to contact their pension scheme (USS, LGPS or STSS) directly to make this happen; the University is prohibited, by law, from helping staff to opt out. The University will inform you when you are auto enrolled and tell you of your options, including the right to opt out.
- Every three years, the University will be required to re enrol all eligible staff who, at that time, are not members of a qualifying pension scheme, even if they have previously opted out.
For staff wishing to know more about the Pensions Act 2008 or auto enrolment the links below provide further information:
- Department for Work and Pensions website
- The Pensions Regulator website
- The Pensions Advisory Service
- We are in – TV Campaign
In addition we have compiled a listing of Frequently Asked Questions, see link below:
In the next few months leading up to our staging date , we will be providing more detailed information to explain in detail the steps we are taking to comply with the legislation.
Updated information will appear on the Finance web site, in the Weekly Digest, and be sent out with payslips. Posters will be appearing around the Campus to help publicise these very important changes. In addition a series of information sessions will be run over the coming weeks for staff to find out more about auto enrolment.
If you have any questions in the meantime about auto enrolment please do not hesitate to contact staff in the Pensions Team by emailing email@example.com or phone directly on 0141 548 4771.