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The University of Southampton
Finance, Planning and Analytics

PASNAS: Guidance and Eligibility

What is the Pensions Team responsible for?

The Pensions team is responsible for the daily administration of the pension schemes operated by the University for its employees, namely:

  • Pension & Assurance Scheme for Non-Academic Staff (PASNAS)
  • Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS)
  • National Health Service Pension Scheme (NHSPS)
  • Teachers Pension Scheme (TPS)
  • Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)
  • Medical Research Council (MRC)
  • National Employment Savings Trust (NEST)

The team is responsible for the calculating collecting, recording and the payment of contributions to pension scheme providers. Responsibilities in this area include the calculation and payment of pensions, refunds of contributions and transfers of benefits to and from other pension schemes.
The Pensions team staff cannot give financial advice, however, they are able to provide information on a broad spectrum of pensions matters.

How much will I contribute to the Pension Scheme?

The current contribution rates are as follows:
Employee contributions: 6.35%
Employer contributions: 17.25%
Total contributions: 23.85%

SCHEME: USS (final salary)
Employee contributions:7.5%
Employer contributions:16%
Total contributions:23.5%

SCHEME: USS (career average)
Employee contributions: 6.5%
Employer contributions:16%
Total contributions:22.5%

Employee contributions: 4%
Employer contributions: 3%
Tax relief: 1% from government
Total contributions: 8%

Employee contributions: dependant on earnings level
Employer contributions: dependant on earnings level
Total contributions: dependant on earnings level

About the Scheme

The Pension & Assurance Scheme for Non Academic Staff (PASNAS)

PASNAS is a final salary pension and life assurance scheme provided and administered by the University of Southampton for its workers.


The Trustees
The Scheme is administered by Trustees in accordance with the Trust Deed and Rules.
There must be seven or more Trustees, including:

  • Three University nominated Trustees (the University Trustees*);
  • Three Scheme members who are ‘in service’ and who are elected by the Members and Pensioners (the Member Trustees) and;
    an Independent Trustee*

*The University is responsible for appointing and removing University Trustees and the Independent Trustee. 

What are the meanings of some of the terms in PASNAS?

Active Member:  An employee who is actively paying PASNAS contributions.


Dependent:  Your legally married spouse (inclusive of opposite and same sex marriage), or

Your civil partner, as defined by the Civil Partnership Act, or

(At the discretion of the Trustees may include) someone who was financially dependent or inter-dependent with you, or

Anyone (but not a child) who, in the opinion of the Trustees, is wholly or partly financially dependent on you whose maintenance or education you were contributing to when you died. 


Final Pensionable Salary: The greater of:
The annual average of the highest aggregate of any 36 consecutive monthly calculations of pensionable salary received (or the average over such shorter period as you have been in receipt of pensionable salary) throughout the ten years ending on the date which you cease to be in pensionable service; and
The highest aggregate of any twelve consecutive monthly calculations of pensionable salary you receive during the five years ending on the date on which you cease to be in pensionable service.
Pensionable salary figures are indexed in line with increases in the Retail Prices Index (RPI) up to the date of calculation of benefits.


Five Year Guarantee: The lump sum payable if you die within five years of retirement and which will be the balance of five years' pension payments.


GMP:   Guaranteed Minimum Pension


Normal Retirement Date: Your 65th Birthday.  (The scheme’s Normal Retirement Date will rise in line with future increases to the State Pension Age.)


Pensionable Salary:  Your basic salary or wages from your employer. Pensionable salary may also include some other payments paid by the University, on a permanent or temporary basis.


Pensionable Service: Your period of service in years and days as an Active Member of PASNAS and any further period credited to you by the Trustees (e.g. service credited by transfers from other schemes or AVCs). Pensionable service will not include any period of service for which you received a refund of PASNAS contributions.


Qualifying Service:  The aggregate of contributory service with the University and service credited from a ‘transfer in’ from a previous employer’s or a personal pension scheme.

What is the summary funding statement?

The summary funding statement is an actuarial valuation produced to show the financial position of the scheme. It details the scheme’s assets and liabilities together with the scheme’s funding level.

Please follow the attached link to view the latest Summary Funding Statement:



You can join PASNAS if:

  • You are an employee of the University; and
  • You are on an academic pay scale (level 3 or below); and
  • You are employed on a permanent or fixed term contract of at least 12 months; and
  • You are aged 20 or over but under age 64; and
  • You work more than 5 hours per week.

You will be automatically enrolled into PASNAS with effect from the date you become eligible to join.

Do I have to join PASNAS?

You can opt out of the scheme at any stage of your membership. However, to comply with pension auto enrolment legislation you will be enrolled back into the scheme on the 3rd anniversary of the University of Southampton’s staging date.
Please contact the Pensions Office if you would like to opt out of the scheme.

Can I join at a later date?

If you do not join PASNAS when first able to do so, or if you decide to opt out of the scheme, you can join or re-join the scheme at a later date by request to the University and the Trustees. In addition, auto enrolment legislation allows workers to automatically join the scheme on the third anniversary of the University of Southampton’s staging date.

Please contact the Pensions Office if you would like to join or re-join the scheme.

Can I transfer my benefits from my previous pension scheme?

It is possible, subject to the discretion of the Trustees, to transfer benefits from a previous pension arrangement into PASNAS.

If you would like the Pensions Office to investigate a transfer, please complete and return PASNAS Transfer form. 

What happens if I don’t join or if I opt out of PASNAS?

If you decide not to join PASNAS, or decide to opt out later, you will not accrue a pension for retirement or be covered by life assurance if you were to die while employed by the University.


  • The University cannot ask you, force you or offer you incentives to opt out of the pension scheme.
  • If you are asked or forced to opt out, you can tell The Pensions Regulator – visit:
  • If you change your mind, you may be able to opt back in – contact the Pensions team if you want to do this.
  • If you stay opted out you will normally be enrolled back into the scheme at each three year anniversary of the University's Auto Enrolment staging date.
  • If you leave the University your new employer will normally enrol you into its pension scheme.
  • If you have another job, your other employer will normally also enrol into its pension scheme.
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