The University offers a number of different occupational pension schemes for eligible employees. You are an eligible employee if you have been issued a contract of employment with the University (specifically, the Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford) and are aged at least 16 and under 75. Eligible employees are admitted into membership of the pension scheme offered by the University appropriate to their status: full details of the available pension schemes can be found on the University's Pensions website. Separate pension arrangements are in place for non-employees who have a contract to work or provide services.
If eligible, you will be automatically enrolled into the appropriate pension scheme until you give notice in writing to opt out of the scheme, to the Head of Pensions, Finance Division, University of Oxford, 6 Worcester Street, Oxford OX1 2BX. You must state that you wish to exercise your statutory right not to belong to the scheme. If you choose not to belong to a pension scheme you will not receive any form of compensation in lieu of pension scheme membership.
The pension schemes offered by the University meet or exceed the qualifying standards set by the government. If you cease membership of a qualifying pension, and you are aged between 22 and the State Pension Age, work, or ordinarily work, in the UK and earn above the threshold set by government, the University has a duty under law to enrol or re-enrol you automatically into the appropriate qualifying scheme. If this happens, you have the right to opt out of the scheme. If you are not a member of a qualifying pension scheme, and are aged at least 16 and under 75, you may ask to opt in or join, and the University will enrol you.
The schemes offered by the University are:
The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) This is a national scheme for staff employed on academic and academic-related scales of pay (grade 6 and above).
The University of Oxford Staff Pension Scheme (OSPS) This is the University’s scheme for staff who are employed on grades 1 - 5. OSPS includes a defined benefit and a defined contribution section. New employees are enrolled into the defined contribution section.
If there is a change to your grade, the appropriate scheme will be that which is applicable to the new position. For example if you are employed on a grade 1 - 5 and are promoted or re-graded to an academic-related grade, you will have to change pension scheme.
The University also participates in certain other schemes in respect of specific employees in exceptional circumstances. These include:
The National Health Service Pension Scheme This is a national scheme for NHS employees. The only University staff who participate in this scheme are those who are employed in a clinical role and were active members of the NHSPS immediately before their employment by the University.
Salary exchange scheme for pension contributions (Salary Exchange)
Subject to certain limited exceptions, if you are eligible to become a member of either USS or OSPS and you join the pension scheme, you are automatically enrolled in the University's salary exchange scheme for pension contributions.
A new employee may opt out of Salary Exchange. To do so you must give notice in writing to the Payroll Manager that you do not wish to join the scheme.
Under Salary Exchange, the deduction for your personal pension contributions is reduced to nil. At the same time your pensionable salary is reduced by an amount equal to your pension contributions and the University increases its contributions to the pension scheme by an equivalent amount. Your pensionable salary and pension scheme benefits are not reduced. Because National Insurance is calculated on your salary after Salary Exchange, you will benefit from reduced National Insurance contributions. Your salary before Salary Exchange, ie your pensionable salary, remains unchanged.
You may change your decision to opt in or out of Salary Exchange either annually on 1 April, or on any date if you experience a "life change" event.
If you have a period of unpaid leave you will be automatically opted into Salary Exchange on the date you return to paid employment, unless you give notice in writing to the Payroll Manager that you do not wish to be enrolled.
If you do not participate in Salary Exchange you will pay contributions to the relevant pension scheme as required by the rules of the pension scheme. The University will deduct these contributions from your salary.
Further information on the University’s pension schemes, including on contribution rates, transferring benefits from another pension scheme and ways of paying additional contribution to boost your pension may be obtained from:
Information on the pension schemes is available from:
Information on Salary Exchange for Pension Contributions is at:
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