Answers To Your Pension Questions

A pension is a way of saving money to provide you with an income when you retire. The scheme can also provide benefits for your family or those close to you on your death. A percentage of your pay is put into your pension automatically every month. The University also pays a monthly contribution.

The scheme that you join depends on the date that you started employment within the University and your current grade. The scheme is either the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) or the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).

Please refer to the table below.

 Grade 6 and aboveGrade 5 and below

 Start date on or after:

 01/01/2017

 USS  LGPS

 Start date between:

 01/04/2003 and 31/12/2016

 USS  USS

 Start date prior to:

01/04/2003

 USS  LGPS

 

The University also participates in the Scottish Teachers Superannuation Scheme (STSS). It is available to certain staff that were located at Jordanhill College. At Strathclyde it is closed to new members.

If you decide to opt out of the pension scheme you may be automatically re-entered under the automatic enrolment regulations. For more information about automatic enrolment click here.

You will pay a percentage of your monthly pensionable salary each month directly from your pay into your pension. The University also contributes a percentage of your monthly pensionable salary.

For the current contribution rates click here.

Joining a pension scheme is an excellent way to save for your retirement. The key benefits of USS, LGPS and STSS include:

  • a pension at retirement with the option to take a cash payment
  • generous contribution from the University
  • tax relief on your pension contributions
  • you pay reduced National Insurance contributions as a scheme member
  • the option to pay Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVC’s)
  • benefits for your family or dependants on your death

If you are a new member of staff and are contracted to work regular hours you will automatically become a member with effect from the start date of your employment. Staff should refer to their contract of employment for confirmation of eligibility.  If you decide to opt out of membership and subsequently change your mind, you can re-join the pension scheme. Please email the Pensions Section for further information – pensions@strath.ac.uk

If you are classed as a Worker and your salary varies depending on the hours of work that you do, you will not automatically become a member. However you can opt in and will receive a letter from the Pensions Section regarding this once you have received your first salary payment.

If you are an existing member of staff and are not currently a member of a pension scheme please contact the Pensions Section for further information – pensions@strath.ac.uk

AVC’s are extra pension contributions that you can make to top up your pension and so increase the benefits you receive when you retire.

Please refer to the Pension Scheme website for information:

USS Members - www.uss.co.uk

LGPS Members - www.spfo.org.uk

STSS Members - www.sppa.co.uk

Automatic enrolment is a government initiative to encourage more people to have an income when they retire. All employers must enrol eligible staff into a workplace pension.

For more details click here.

The amount of pension that you are entitled to is based on a proportion of the pensionable salary that you received during each year of scheme membership.

Use one of the following online calculators to obtain an estimate of the pension that you may receive.

If you have pension benefits in a previous scheme you may wish to consider transferring them to USS. Please refer to the USS website for further information. If you wish to investigate a transfer you should complete the Transfer Request form and forward it to the Pensions Section, Finance, McCance Building. The form can be found on the USS website – please click here.

Please note that if you are joining USS with a gap of less than one calendar month from a previous USS institution, the two periods of service will be automatically joined and you will be entitled to remain in USS without a break in your service.

If you are a member of the LGPS you can investigate a transfer only if your previous scheme is a public sector scheme (for example Teachers, NHS, Civil Service) and you start the process within 12 months of joining the scheme.

If, after careful consideration, you decide that you do not wish to be a member then you need to complete and sign the form to confirm this.

If you are a member of USS the form is called ‘Opt out of Pension Saving’ and can be found here. Please note that if you have been a member of USS for three months or more you are required to give 28 days notice to withdraw from membership. Your first day of non-membership will be the 1st of the month following 28 days from the date that you submit the opt out form.

If you are a member of the LGPS the form is called ‘Opt out’ and can be found here. Prior to completing the form members are required to read the ‘For Your Future’ document produced by the scheme, it can be found here.

Completed forms should be sent to the Pensions Section, Finance, McCance Building.

If you have less than two years membership (and have not transferred benefits in) you will have the opportunity to request a refund of contributions. Please contact the Pensions Section for information.

The exception to this is if you were a member of USS for more than three months and contributions were deducted via the University's Pensions Salary Sacrifice arrangements (Pensions Plus). If this applies, you are not entitled to a refund of contributions. Instead USS must provide you with a pension benefit that is payable from your retirement date. If the option for a refund is important to you, it is possible to opt out of Pensions Plus whilst remaining in USS.

For further information please contact the Pensions Section

There are various types of retirement available under the scheme rules (ill health, early, flexible and late). With the exception of ill health retirement, which can occur at any age, and retirement due to redundancy, for the majority of members the earliest date that it may be possible to receive a pension is age 55.

If you are considering retiring please contact the Pensions Section to discuss the options that are available – pensions@strath.ac.uk  Is it advisable to contact the Pensions Section approximately six months prior to your anticipated retirement date to allow time to obtain figures and process the paperwork.

Once you have received your final salary payment the Pensions Section will notify the scheme that you have left University employment and in due course you will receive information directly from the scheme confirming the benefits that you have built up to your date of leaving and the options that are available to you. You may wish to consider transferring your benefits to a new pension arrangement and this should be discussed with the new scheme.

Please ensure that your home address is up to date on Pegasus as that is the address that the Pensions Section will pass on to the scheme.

Please contact a member of staff in the Pensions Section.