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

The University operates a salary exchange arrangement called Pensions+ which is a more effective way of paying into the pension schemes. Under the Pensions+ arrangement, 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 each members' salary for the purposes of calculating National Insurance (NI) is lower and so members pay less in NI deductions. For further information on Pensions+, see "Things to do now".

Pension Drop Ins

The Pensions Office holds regular 'Drop In' sessions where you can pop in and ask a question or have a chat about your pension.

The table below gives dates and times of forthcoming sessions and you can find out more (and pre-book if you wish) on UoRLearn.

 Date Time


 12 June 2024 1.00 pm - 2.00 pm Edith Morley 288
 20 June 2024 11.00 am - 12.00 pm Agriculture GL22
 10 July 2024 2.00 pm - 3.00 pm Edith Morley 288
 16 July 2024 12.00 pm - 1.00 pm Agriculture GL22
 8 August 2024 1.00 pm - 2.00 pm Edith Morley 288
 14 August 2024 11.00 am - 12.00 pm Agriculture GL22

 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 Pay Grades 6 to 9, and the University of Reading Pension Scheme (URPS), which is open to employees on Pay Grades 1 to 5. 

There are also employees who are members of the University of Reading Employees' Pension Fund (UREPF) however membership of this scheme is not available to new employees.

Further information regarding these schemes can be found using the following links:

Joining A Pension Scheme

The majority of employees will be entered into a pension scheme automatically, either through their contracts or through auto-enrolment.

If you are currently not a member of a pension scheme and wish to join or opt in to the scheme linked to your Pay Grade, please download and complete the ‘Join/opt into a pension scheme’ form which can be found in the “Things To Do Now”. Once this has been sent to the Pensions Office, we will then be able to arrange for you to start contributing at the next available pay date. Alternatively, send an email to the Pensions Office at and this email must include the sentence ‘I confirm I personally submitted this notice to join a workplace pension scheme.’

Pension Scams

Pension scams are on the increase in the UK. Anyone could fall victim to a pensions scam so awareness and education around the warning signs of  pension scams has become paramount. Please visit our website's Pension Scams page and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) website to find out more about pension scams, how to protect yourself and how to report any suspicious activity.

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 Office contact details.

Additional information

MoneyHelper (formerly The Pensions Advisory Service)

MoneyHelper gives you free and impartial guidance on money matters including your pension options through a service called Pension Wise,

The Pensions Regulator (TPR)

TPR is the UK regulator of work-based pensions in the UK and is committed to increasing confidence in them,

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

The FCA 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, Pensions and Retirement Planning

Information and practical advice from the UK government on pensions and planning for retirement,

GOV.UK: Workplace and Personal Pensions

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

Contact us
  • Pensions Office

    Room 1.10
    First Floor
    Whiteknights House
  • Office hours

    Mon-Thurs 9am-5pm,
    Fri 9am-4.30pm.
  • Pensions General Enquiries

    Telephone: +44 (0)118 378 7121