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Pension Auto Enrolment

The government has introduced auto enrolment regulations effective from 1 October 2012 (for large employers) to encourage greater employee participation in workplace pensions. UCL applied a Postponement period from its staging date of 1 March 2013 and began to auto enroll its qualifying employees with effect from 1 June 2013.

UCL's Commitment to its Employees

UCL is committed to providing access to a pension scheme. If you are under age 75 and work in the UK UCL must by law continue to maintain your membership of a pension scheme that meets the governments standards; and if your membership of the scheme ends (and it is not because of something you do or fail to do), UCL must by law put you into another scheme that meets the government standards straightaway.

Existing Members of a Pension Scheme

You would not have been automatically enrolled if you were already a member of a UCL Pension Scheme at 1 June 2013:

Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS)
Superannuation Arrangements of the University of London (SAUL)
National Health Service Pension Scheme (NHSPS)

UCL Pension Schemes are all qualifying pension schemes which means that they meet or exceed the government’s new standards.

Non Members of a Pension Scheme

If you are not a member of a Pension Scheme (USS/SAUL/NHS) because you:

It is important that you read the applicable section in this document which will explain how Auto Enrolment will affect you.

Previously Opted Out or not a member of a Pension Scheme

If you are a Regular Contractual Employee and are under State Pension Age, UCL will have automatically enrolled you from 1 June 2013 into the Career Average Revalued Earnings section of :

This applies even if you had previously withdrawn from membership of one of the schemes.

You had the right to join USS or SAUL before 1 June 2013 (please see the Opting-In Section).

New Employees Commencing Employment after 1 June 2013

If you are employed on a fixed monthly pay basis, and are over age 16 and below State Pension Age, you will be enrolled into the UCL workplace pension scheme, applicable to your grade, from your UCL commencement date.
You can choose to opt out of the scheme if you want to (please see the Opting-Out section).

Employees over State Pension Age

If you are over State Pension Age https://www.gov.uk/calculate-state-pension but under age 75 you will not be automatically enrolled into USS or SAUL. This is because you do not meet the criteria set by the government. However, you have the right to join the scheme if you want to (Please see the Opting-In section).

As and When Employee /Casual Worker

If you are an As and When Employee /Casual Worker, your earnings will be assessed and you will be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme if your earnings exceed the Auto Enrolment earnings threshold (earnings over £833* per month *2014/2015 tax year).

You can choose to opt out of the scheme if you want to (please see Opting-Out section).

If your earnings are less than £833 per month* you will not qualify to be auto enrolled. However, your earnings will continue to be monitored should your earnings qualify you for auto enrolment at a later date. Similarly, if you are under age 22 or over State Pension Age and below age 75 you will not qualify for automatic enrolment. However, you have the right to join a UCL workplace pension scheme if you want to (please see Opting-In section).

Fixed Protection 2012 & 2014

If you have Fixed Protection the ability to accrue further benefits is very limited. For example, you would normally need to stop building up benefits under every Registered Pension Scheme that you belong to.

If you breach HM Revenue & Customs conditions for Fixed Protection, you will not be able to rely on Fixed Protection and your Lifetime Allowance will be the Standard Lifetime Allowance (SLTA). If your benefits are worth more than the SLTA, when you take your benefits, you will be liable for the Lifetime Allowance charge on your benefits above the SLTA.

You have the option of opting out of the scheme to retain Fixed Protection and should contact Pension Services by sending an email to pensions@ucl.ac.uk to notify Pension Services if you wish to opt out from the scheme within the first month of enrolment.

Information relating to the preservation of Fixed Protection is available on the HM Revenue & Customs website.

Re-Employed Following Retirement

USS apply an age related pension percentage contribution rate to employees who are in receipt of a USS pension; this rate is in addition to the standard contribution rate.


If you want to join USS or SAUL now, please contact Pension Services by e-mail to pensions@ucl.ac.uk or in writing stating that 'I confirm I personally submitted this notice to join a workplace pension scheme'.


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. UCL and you will pay into USS or SAUL every month. The government will also contribute through tax relief.
If you are auto enrolled into a UCL Pension Scheme, further details will be sent to you including a section on opting out of the scheme.

Auto Enrolment Factsheet
The Auto Enrolment factsheet provides a useful summary guide.

Further Information

Further information on UCL Pension Schemes and Auto Enrolment can be found on:

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/pensions - UCL Pension Services
https://www.gov.uk/workplace-pensions - Department for Work and Pensions
http://www.saul.org.uk - SAUL
http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/pensions - NHS
http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/automatic-enrolment.aspx  – The Pensions Regulator
http://www.gov.uk/browse/working/workplace-personal-pensions  – Workplace Pensions