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The University of Southampton
Finance, Planning and Analytics

Auto Enrolment for Pensions

Auto Enrolment

To help people save more for their retirement, the Government requires employers to enrol their workers, and re-enrol them every 3 years into a workplace pension scheme. This applies to those who aren’t already in one and who:

The Government’s aim is for more people to have another income, on top of the State Pension, when they come to retire. The State Pension is intended to be a foundation only - you may need more. Employers are required to enrol their workers automatically into a pension scheme to make it easier for people to start saving for their retirement.

If you are paid on a claims basis or requisition form basis (including UniWorkforce workers) or are on a fixed term contract of less than 6 months, you will be able to join the NEST pension scheme.

The University can choose to postpone your automatic enrolment for up to three months. This means that, for example, if you were paid £840.00 in April, you are eligible for automatic enrolment into NEST but your automatic enrolment may be postponed until the following July. If you are paid at least £833.33 in the July, you will be automatically enrolled into NEST. If your pay in that July is less than £833.33 then automatic enrolment will not apply. You would be enrolled into the scheme when your earnings reached the required level for the first time in the following months.

The payments into your pension will be a total of 8% of your monthly pay. For example,

  • Your contribution – 4% of your monthly pay.  This will be taken directly from your pay
  • The University’s contribution – an amount equal to 3% your monthly pay 
  • Tax relief – an amount equal to 1% your monthly pay

The Pensions Office and NEST will write to you to confirm if you have been enrolled into the NEST Pension Scheme. You have the option of opting out or stopping your contributions to NEST. Please contact the Pensions office to find out how to do this: pensions@soton.ac.uk

Further information regarding the NEST Pension Scheme can be found by visiting the NEST website.

 

If you are employed on a permanent or fixed term contract of 6 months or more (grades 1 – 3)

From 1/1/2019, the University of Southampton enrols its employees on grades 1-3 into the University of Southampton Retirement Fund (USRF) at commencement of employment, or at the time they first meet the eligibility criteria for membership. This contractual enrolment into USRF is part of the terms and conditions of employment and applies to those who:

  • are employed at levels 1-3; and
  • have permanent or fixed term contracts of at least 6 months; and
  • are aged 18 or over and up to state pension age.

Please be advised that:

  • You can choose to opt out of the scheme if you want to, but if you stay in you will have your own pension which you get when you retire.
  • The University and you will both pay into it every month.
  • You will receive tax relief on the contributions you make.
  • Your pension belongs to you, even if you leave us in the future.

The current contribution rates for USRF are detailed in the table below, with a 6% default employee contribution.

Employee Employer
0% 10%
2% 10%
4% 10%
6%
(default contribution rate)
10%



Further information about the USRF can be found on the Royal London website.

If your grade 1-3 contract is for a period of less than 6 months, you will be enrolled into the NEST Pension Scheme.

If you are employed on a permanent or fixed term contract of 12 months or more (grades 4 and above)

The University of Southampton enrols its employees on grade 4 and above into the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) at commencement of employment, or at the time they first meet the eligibility criteria for membership.  This contractual enrolment into USS is part of the terms and conditions of employment and applies to those who:

  • are an employee on an academic or academic-related scale of pay (level 4 and above)
  • their employer says the job is pensionable
  • are over age 18 and under age 75, and
  • are not already in receipt of a USS pension

Please be advised that:

  • You can choose to opt out of the scheme if you want to, but if you stay in you will have your own pension which you get when you retire
  • The University and you will both pay into it every month
  • You will receive tax relief on the contributions you make
  • Your pension belongs to you, even if you leave us in the future

The payments into your pension will be a total of 30.7% of your monthly pensionable pay. For example

 

  • Your contribution - 9.6% of your monthly pensionable pay. This will be taken directly from your pay.
  • The University's contribution - an amount equal to 21.1% of your monthly pensionable pay.

 

Opting out of your University pension scheme

You are entitled to opt out of or stop contributing to the pension scheme that you have been enrolled in. Please contact the Pensions office for guidance on how to opt out: pensions@soton.ac.uk
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