University of Reading Pension Scheme (URPS)
Planning for Retirement
If you are within 5 years of your intended retirement date, you may be interested in a new Planning for Retirement course available for UoRLearn. There are two separate sessions available: the first on 14 June focuses on planning your finances for retirement and the second, on 28 June, aims to help you make the most of your retirement by looking at the social and emotional impacts of retiring.
You can find out more and register on UoRLearn. Search for 'pensions' to find these and any other pension related courses.
You may also be interested in Aviva's Shape My Future webpages as these contain a series of short articles to help you save for the future.
About The Scheme
The University of Reading Pension Scheme (URPS) launched on 1 August 2011. Membership is offered by the University of Reading, working in partnership with Aviva, to employees in Framework Grades 1-5 or equivalent. The Scheme is operated under a Trust and the assets are kept entirely separate from those of the University.
URPS is a defined contribution scheme. This means that contributions from both you and the employer are paid into a Retirement Account which is invested and managed by Aviva. On retirement, the Retirement Account is used to provide benefits for you and your Dependants. The level of benefits will depend on:
- the amount of contributions paid in
- the investment returns achieved on the selected investment funds
- investment and administration charges
- the rate used to convert the retirement fund into a pension (known as an annuity rate) and
- the type of benefit you choose to buy.
Contributions are invested in a fund or funds chosen from a range selected by the Scheme's Trustees. Initially the contributions will be invested via a default Lifestyle strategy which has a target retirement age of 66. However members can go down the Self-select route and make their own choice of fund(s) from the available range and change their target retirement date by contacting Aviva. Details are given on the right in "Things to do now".
Information about the charges levied on the different investment funds can be found in the URPS Investment Guide 2021.
Contribution rates are 4% of pay for employees and 5% of pay for the employer. The employer's rate increases to 7% once you have completed 5 years of continuous membership of the Scheme. The contributions you pay into URPS are eligible to receive tax relief so the cost to you is less than it may seem. A salary exchange scheme has been introduced by the University as this is a more efficient way of paying into the scheme. Further information can be found on the Pensions+ page.
Membership of URPS provides the following benefits:
- the option to take up to 25% of your Retirement Account as a tax free cash sum on retirement
- a facility to increase your retirement benefits by paying additional contributions
- a range of funds in which to invest the contributions paid by both yourself and the employer
- additional contributions paid by the employer after 5 years of membership
- a tax free lump sum of 6 times your annualised salary if you die whilst an active member
Joining the Scheme:
To help people save more for their retirement, the government requires employers to enrol their workers into a workplace pension scheme. This applies to those workers who aren't already in one, and who
- earn £833 in any given month (equivalent to £10,000 per annum);
- are aged 22 or over; and
- are under State Pension Age.
If you are aged 22 or more when you take up your post at Reading you are likely to be entered automatically as a member of URPS from your first day of employment and if this is the case, it will be specified in your contract of employment. For some posts (mainly short term or temporary), employees are only automatically entered into Scheme membership if they meet the criteria as given above. Please see your offer and contract of employment for full information. Membership is available to anyone who has not been entered automatically - or who has previously opted out of the Scheme - see "What to do if you want to join a pension scheme" below.
What to do if you do not want to join URPS:
Should you decide that you do not want to remain a member of URPS please contact the Pensions Office; however please note that you cannot opt out of Scheme membership before you have been enrolled. Please note that you are only able to have a refund of your contributions if you opt out within 30 days of joining the pension scheme. For more information, please see your pensions letter sent with your offer of employment
Information on changes from April 2015:
The options available on retirement changed from 6 April 2015 and you no longer have to buy an annuity with your pension pot. For further information please see the announcement sent to members - Fund Changes April 2015 (PDF - 79KB)
Please take a moment to view this short video about Pension Flexibilities:
Pension Flexibilities - High Quality
Pension Flexibilities - Low Quality
What to do if you want to join a pension scheme:
If you want to join a pension scheme now, contact Stephanie May, Pensions Manager, in writing by sending a letter, which has to be signed by you. Or if sending it electronically, it has to contain the phrase "I confirm I personally submitted this notice to join a workplace pension scheme". Alternatively, an Opt In / Joining Notice can be found in the forms section below. The internal postal address is: Pensions Office, Room 110, Whiteknights House or if sending through the external mail: Pensions Office, The University of Reading, PO Box 217, Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6AH. The email address is: email@example.com. You will then be sent further information and confirmation you are being enrolled in the Scheme..
Member Nominated Trustees
Find out all about the role of the Member Nominated Trustees (MNTs) and how, as a member of the Scheme, you can be appointed to the Trustee Board. Full details can be found on our MNT page.
COVID-19 - Is URPS Affected?
If you have any questions about COVID-19 and its Implications for the University of Reading Pension Scheme please read our FAQ.
- URPS - Basic Information for New Employees (PDF - 80KB)
- A Guide to the University of Reading Pension Scheme (PDF - 230KB)
- URPS Investment Guide 2021
- Annual Governance Statement by the Chair of Trustees Year Ending (31 July 2022)
- URPS MNT Rules July 2020
- URPS Statement of Investment Principles (2021)
- URPS Statement of Investment Principles Implementation Statement 2020-2021
- URPS Implementation Statement 2021-2022
- Opt in or Joining notice (PDF - 107KB)
- URPS Expression of Wish July 2013 (PDF - 80KB)
- URPS AVC Application Form
The following webinars are run by Aviva and are free to attend. They are not specific to URPS but provide general pension and retirement information.
|Your Financial Future||15 March 10 am - 11 am||Register|
|Your Financial Future||15 March 2 pm - 3 pm||Register|
|Mid-Life MOT||22 March 10 am - 11 am||Register|
|Mid-Life MOT||22 March 2 pm - 3 pm||Register|
|Pensions Basics||11 April 10 am - 11 am||Register|
|Pensions Basics||11 April 2 pm - 3 pm||Register|
- Visit Aviva
- Visit the Pension Wise guidance website
- Read about changes from April 2015)
- Read about Pension Scams
- Visit Aviva's Shape My Future website
- Room 110
- Office hours:
Fri - 9am-4.30pm.
Pensions General Enquiries
- Email: Pensions@
+44 (0)118 378 7121
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
+44 (0)345 604 9915