Key principles

  • All substantive academic and academic-related role holders are eligible for USS only.

  • An individual cannot be in both pension schemes.

  • To meet our auto-enrolment responsibilities, an employee can join one of the two pension schemes for all contracts held. However, employees with an Academic or Academic-related post (including AT contracts and temporary contracts at Grade 7 or above) cannot join GPP for this contract. In this scenario, an employee may be eligible to join USS for all posts held.  

  • Support staff role holders in employment prior to 31st December 2020 can remain in USS following re-appointment (if already an active USS member), and can also contribute to USS in respect of other posts acquired.

  • Support staff role holders in post prior to 31st December 2020 who opted out of USS in the past, had a window of opportunity to re-join the scheme in 2021. After 1st July 2021, they are no longer eligible to re-join the scheme. 

 

General Faqs

No, employees subject to the above terms and conditions are eligible for USS only.

No, the window of opportunity for support staff to re-join USS closed on 30th June 2021.

The UEASSS scheme has been closed to new entrants for a number of years. Employees who are active members can remain in the scheme or choose to leave the scheme and join the GPP. If employees are considering this move, it is advisable to seek independent financial advice.

Legally employees must get financial advice if they wish to transfer from a defined benefit pension scheme (e.g. final salary or career average) such as USS to a defined contribution scheme such as the Group Personal Pension. Financial advice is recommended but not mandatory if an employee wishes to leave USS and preserve their pension fund, and subsequently join the GPP. Further information is available, along with free help and advice at Moneyhelper.org.uk.

Further information can be found on the Pensions webpages. In addition, new entrants will receive a welcome email from the Pensions team, which will provide details of the schemes. 

Members of the GPP would be covered under the Temporary Absence Clause of the scheme terms and conditions. This means that employees remain eligible for life assurance of 3x basic annual salary for up to 3 years, when absent from work for reasons other than illness or injury. In the case of absence for illness or injury, employees are covered until retirement.

Further information can be found on the Pensions webpages. In addition, new entrants will receive a welcome email from the Pensions team, which will provide this information.

Support staff in post before 31st December (substantive roles)

If the employee is already an active member of USS they will be eligible to remain in USS in their new post. Re-appointment letters will confirm that their contract remains unchanged in this respect. 

If the employee is already an active member of USS they will be eligible for USS in any additional posts offered to them. Therefore, offer letters will include a variation to the T&Cs, enabling them to remain in USS. Employees cannot be enrolled in both pension schemes.

If the employee is an active member of USS at the point the unpaid leave commences, they will be able to remain in the USS scheme and re-commence their contributions on their return to work (or maintain their contributions throughout the period, if they wish).

Academic or Academic-related post holders

The second post will include a variation to the T&Cs, enabling them to contribute to USS in their Support Staff role. Employees cannot be enrolled in both pension schemes.

If the employee is an active member of USS when they are re-appointed, the post offered to them will include a variation to the T&Cs, enabling them to remain in USS

Support Staff in post from 1st January 2021

No, under the terms of an Academic or Academic-related post, the employee will no longer be able to contribute to the GPP but they will have the option to join USS.

Yes, the default position will be to maintain the pension that relates to the employee’s substantive role, unless the employee requests that the USS scheme is made available for the duration of the secondment. This scenario will require further discussion with the employee.

Employees cannot be enrolled in both pension schemes. Therefore, the Pensions team will be required to determine the appropriate course of action based on the individual circumstances.