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Pensions at the University of Reading

Members of staff have the opportunity to join a pension scheme sponsored by the University. Membership of a pension scheme is an important and valuable part of your benefits package as an employee of the University of Reading. For most people their pension is their second largest asset, second only to owning a property. With State Pension Ages increasing and likely to increase further, having your own pension is critical to decisions about your future.

The schemes are funded by contributions made by both members and the University with the University paying the lion's share of the cost. Under current HM Revenue and Customs rules, pension scheme members receive tax relief on their contributions to a registered pension scheme and this has the effect of reducing the cost of joining a scheme to members.

In August 2012, the University introduced a salary exchange scheme called Pensions+ which is a more effective way of paying into your pension scheme. Essentially, pension scheme members stop paying pension contributions and the University pays them instead in exchange for the member's gross contractual salary being reduced by the corresponding amount. Paying contributions in this way means that your salary for the purposes of calculating NI is lower and so members pay less in NI deductions. For further information on Pensions+ see "Things do do now".

Pension Drop Ins and Appointments

Due to the current Covid-19 situation, as members of the Pensions Team are working remotely, we are unable to offer the pension drop in sessions at the moment. However, if you would like a one to one chat with a member of the team about anything pensions related, please pop an email request to and a member of the team will get in touch to arrange a meet up over Microsoft Teams. If you can include a brief idea of your discussion topic, that will help us put you in touch with the most appropriate person.

Pension Schemes

There are two main schemes available to University of Reading employees. These are the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) which is available to staff on Framework Grades 6-9 and Professorial Grades, and the University of Reading Pension Scheme which is open to employees on Framework Grades 1-5. There are also employees who are members of the University of Reading Employees' Pension Fund (UREPF) or of the Teachers' Pension Scheme (TPS) but membership of these schemes is not available to new employees.

Pension Scams

Pension scams are on the increase in the UK. Not only could you lose all your savings but you could be stung with a large tax bill too. And losing your savings will not exempt you from paying the tax. Find out more about pension scams and remember: you can only access your retirement savings before age 55 in circumstances of ill health.

Independent Financial Advice

Membership of these schemes forms an important and significant part of your benefits package and you are encouraged to join. You should be aware that you are making a financial decision and you may therefore wish to seek independent financial advice.

Members of the Pensions Office cannot provide financial advice but for general enquiries in respect of the University's schemes please see the Pensions Team contact details.

Additional information

The Pensions Advisory Service

The Pensions Advisory Service is an independent non profit organisation that provides free information, advice and guidance on company, personal and stakeholder schemes. It can help people with problems, complaints or disputes about their pension,

The Pensions Regulator

The Pensions Regulator is the UK regulator of work based pensions in the UK and is committed to increasing confidence in them,

The Financial Services Authority (FSA)

The FSA is an independent, non governmental body that regulates the financial services industry in the UK and aims to promote efficient, orderly and fair financial markets,

GOV.UK: Workplace and Personal Pensions

Information from the UK government on automatic enrolment, lost pensions and planning for retirement,