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Members of SAUL (Final Salary and Career Average Revalued Benefits Plans) and USS (Final Salary & Career Revalued Benefits Sections) are able to participate in PensionsExchange, a Salary Sacrifice arrangement introduced at UCL with effect from 1st May 2010.  Your participation in PensionsExchange is automatic upon commencement of your SAUL or USS membership, unless it is identified that by participating in PensionsExchange whilst a member of SAUL or USS would have an adverse effect on your take home pay.  You will be informed accordingly if this applies in your case

How it works

Under PensionsExchange an individual’s regular pension contributions(excluding any Additional Voluntary Contributions - AVCs) are reduced to nil, and UCL makes payments equivalent to those the individual previously made to USS / SAUL, as well as its employer contribution.  The individual’s contractual gross pay is reduced by the amount that they used to pay into USS / SAUL.  As a result, take-home pay in most cases increases because they are paying less National Insurance.  This is because the salary from which the employee pension contributions were previously paid were subject to National Insurance but contributions made by the employer are not.

Pension entitlements and pay-related benefits are not adversely affected by this change and the scheme ensures that all pension contributions continue to be paid in full.

Annual Anniversary Date

PensionsExchange has an annual anniversary date of 1 May.  On this date you can choose whether you wish to continue to participate or not in PensionsExchange.

Your Other choices and Actions

Your continued participation in PensionsExchange, whilst continuing to be a member of SAUL or USS) is automatic, you don’t have to do anything.

You are able, as a member of SAUL or USS to opt in to PensionsExchange and enjoy the benefits of PensionsExchange participation at either at any Annual Anniversary Date of 1 May 2013 or if you experience a Lifestyle Event.

You are able to opt out of PensionsExchange but only on commencement of your SAUL or USS membership, or at any Annual Anniversary Date of 1 May, or if your experience a Lifestyle Event.  By opting out of PensionsExchange, this means you remain a member of SAUL or USS but will see a reduction in your take home pay as you will not be benefitting from a reduction in National Insurance contributions as you would have had you remained in PensionsExchange.

If you leave SAUL or USS, ie no longer be a member of SAUL or USS, your participation in PensionsExchange automatically ceases at the same time; you don’t need to do anything.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are a member of USS or SAUL and in PensionsExchange BUT wish to have the option of taking a refund of your contributions (less statutory deductions) if you leave USS or SAUL with less than 2 years membership, you will NOT be able to have the refund of contribution option if you remain in PensionsExchange.In order to qualify for the refund of contributions option, you will need to opt out of PensionsExchange (but still remain a member of SAUL or USS) either before you join UCL or immediately upon joining UCL.  This can be done making your PensionsExchange opting out election as part of the Pension Scheme Membership section of your UCL On-line Staff Registration (or non-online paper equivalent form).

Further information about the restrictions applicable to a refund of contributions options is outlined in the PensionsExchange FAQs (Q13, Q18, Q19) and the General FAQs (Q3)

Employee Guide
PensionsExchange - Annual Anniversary Date
Employers NI Savings
PensionsExchange FAQs
Terms and Conditions
Glossary of Terms
HMRC – Guidance on Salary Sacrifice

Forms PensionsExchange – the Salary Sacrifice arrangement available to members of USS (Final Salary and Career Revalued Benefits Sections) and SAUL (Final Salary & Career Average Revalued Earnings Plans)