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An overview

Workplace pension law changed in 2012 when the government introduced a new law which requires all employers to enrol their eligible workers into a workplace pension scheme automatically if they are not already in one.

The government is getting employers to do this automatically at work so it is easier for people to start saving. The aim is to help more people have another income, on top of the State Pension, when they retire. The State Pension is a foundation for your retirement but if you want to have more, you need to save during your working life. You can opt out if you want to, but if you stay in you will have an additional pension which you get when you retire.

What's more, if you stay in, the University will contribute to your pension and the government will also contribute through tax relief (this means some of your money that would have gone to the government as tax, goes into your pension instead). So, unlike other ways of saving, being in a workplace pension means you're not the only one putting money in.

Auto-enrolment at the University of Reading

Auto-enrolment into a pension scheme at the University started from 1 October 2013. Most employees are enrolled into a pension scheme as part of their contract when they start their employment at the University. Employees not enrolled into a pension as part of their contract will be automatically enrolled if they:

  • earn £833 or more in any one month (i.e. the equivalent of £10,000 a year;
  • are aged 22 or over;
  • are under State Pension age; and
  • work or ordinarily work in the UK.

As part of the legislation, the University is required to ensure that any eligible workers are enrolled back into a pension scheme every 3 years. This means that anyone who was automatically enrolled, but then chose to opt out of the pension scheme, may be put back into a qualifying Pension Scheme with effect from 1 July 2016 . For staff on Grades 1-5, this is the University of Reading Pension Scheme (URPS), and for staff on Grade 6 and above, this is the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).

Everyone who is automatically enrolled into a pension will be contacted directly in writing, either by Friends Life (as the pension scheme administrator for URPS) or by the University pensions team (on behalf of USS), after they have been enrolled. Anyone enrolled into a pension can opt out if they want to and the enrolment notice will give details of how to do this. Before making a decision to opt out of pension saving, it's worth remembering that you would miss out on University contributions to your pension, and valuable lump sum benefits for your family should you die while a scheme member. In addition, any contributions you make into the scheme will be eligible for tax relief and so the cost may not be as great as you might think.

Please note that you are not able to opt out of the pension scheme until you receive confirmation that you have joined.

Staff presentations

We are holding presentations to staff in the run up to the start of auto-enrolment so you can find out more and have the opportunity to ask questions.  These are all bookable through Employee Self Service or through People Development (  for further information.





4 July

10:00 - 11:00


Pensions Auto Re-enrolment Presentation

5 July

14:00 - 15:00


Pensions Auto Re-enrolment Presentation

Who will be auto-enrolled?

The law requires the University to enrol automatically as a member of a pension scheme anyone who meets the eligibility criteria. These are given below and are based on the earnings thresholds which apply in the 2015-16 tax year.

If, on your start date, or 1 July 2016, you will be aged between 22 and state pension age (to check state pension age see Things to Do Now) and your gross pay is at least £833 a month, you will be automatically enrolled into one of the University's pension schemes from that date. If your earnings are less than this figure and you are aged between 16 and 74, then you have a right to join a University sponsored pension scheme, but you will not be automatically enrolled. If you wish to opt in, please contact for further information.

Things to do now

Contact us


  • Room 110
    First Floor
    Whiteknights House
  • Office hours:
    Mon-Thurs 9am-5pm,
    Fri - 9am-4.30pm.

Pensions General Enquiries

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