From 1 April 2013 the UEA was required by law to automatically enrol all ‘eligible jobholders' into a workplace pension scheme if they were not already in one.
An eligible job holder is any member of staff that meets all of the following criteria:
- Aged 22 or over, but below the State Pension Age
- Has earnings in any month that exceed £833
- Ordinarily works in the UK
- Is not a contributing member of one of the pension schemes supported by the University (USS/UEASSS/NHSPS)
Previously you may have opted-out of a pension scheme offered by UEA but if you are an ‘eligible jobholder' (under the legislation), the University is required to automatically bring you into the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).
You can get further information and assistance by contacting the Pensions Office via email or by telephoning x2676.
More information about USS can be found at https://www.uss.co.uk/
- Age - if you are 22 or over but no more than State Pension Age
- Earnings - if your earnings in any month exceed £833.00
- Working in the UK - if you ordinarily work in the UK
- And you are not a contributing member of one of the pension schemes supported by the University.
The pension schemes supported by the University are:
- UEASSS - for support staff prior to 01/11/2007, when the scheme closed to new member
- USS - for all staff - as of 1st April 2016, the USS Retirement Income Builder is used for all members of USS
- NHSPS - for certain clinical academics who exercised their option to remain in this scheme on appointment to the University.
Even if you have opted out before for very good reasons the legislation requires that we now automatically enrol you in the appropriate qualifying scheme.
Letters will be sent out to all those who are affected explaining the changes. The University will inform you when you are auto-enrolled and tell you of your options, including the right to opt-out.
Once you have been auto-enrolled, you will have an option to opt-out of the pension scheme if you believe this is appropriate for you. Refer to question 10 for further details on this option.
a) You may have received a letter from HR advising together with the document "Five good reasons to be a member of USS" and requesting that you arrange an appointment with the Payroll and Pensions office to find out more about pensions. In this case you will be enrolled in the pension scheme as part of your employment contract (this is referred to as contractual enrolment), unless you wish to opt-out. If you do wish to opt-out you will need to complete the USS opt-out form and submit this to the Payroll and Pensions Office.
b) Alternatively, you may have signed a contract that enables you to opt-in to USS and advises you to contact the Payroll and Pensions Office if you wish to discuss this option. However, you will automatically be enrolled in USS if you meet the auto enrolment criteria and you will be advised if this is the case. Assessment for auto enrolment will be made by reference to your earnings over a three month period; see question 6 for details on how this operates.
You can opt out after you have been auto-enrolled, but not before.
To opt out you will need to complete an opt out form and submit this to the University. The form must be obtained from USS, either by contacting them directly or from the USS website. When completing the form please ensure the institution name is University of East Anglia.
If you opt-out within one month of being auto enrolled then you will be treated as never having joined the scheme and your contributions will be refunded. [In practice, due to the way in which the USS scheme operates, you may be entitled to a refund of contributions if you opt-out within 3 months of being enrolled in the scheme, but you should not rely on this and will need to check with the Payroll and Pensions office if this applies to you.]
Please note that the University is prohibited, by law, from advising you in relation to opting-out of the scheme. However, if you require any further information on your pension arrangements then please contact pensions to arrange an appointment or to ask for assistance.
The University will be obliged under auto enrolment rules to re- enrol you again, three years later.
- The University will pay into it. This contribution from the University means your pension can build up more quickly than if you were saving for your retirement on your own.
- If you are a tax payer, you can get tax relief on your contributions and this means it reduces the real cost to you of your pension contribution.
- Your pension belongs to you, even if you leave your employer in the future. Being in USS is an important step towards giving yourself the lifestyle you would like in later life.
Tax savings will apply to individuals that pay tax on their salaries and national insurance savings may also apply if you participate in the scheme through PensionsExtra. The vast majority of staff pay their pension contributions in this way and you can read the PensionsExtra Booklet or seek advice from the Pensions team.